March 17, 2009

Ireland & Cystic Fibrosis

I am of Irish descent, but unless you knew my maiden name and the fact that my entire family has red hair, I don't know that you would guess that. In fact, I've never thought very much about my ethnicity until I had a child born with Cystic Fibrosis. While CF does affect EVERY race (I do not want to be misleading), it occurs most often in white people of Northern European descent. Remembering that approximately 30,000 Americans have CF, here is the statistical breakdown:
  1. About 1 of every 3,600 Caucasians is born with CF
  2. About 1 of every 17,000 African Americans
  3. About 1 of every 90,000 Asian Americans
And the stats on those who are CF carriers in America varies. Any idea which stat is right?:
With St. Patrick's Day approaching, I got to wondering what the CF stats look like in Ireland. I was surprised to learn that...
  • With 1100+ CF Patients, Ireland has the highest proportion of CF people in the world.
  • Approximately 1 in 19 is a carrier for the CF gene.
Always consult your local CF clinic first, but the CFAI has a lengthy list of online publications, including "A guide for Parents of Newly Diagnosed Children with CF". And they even have a website for their CF Registry! I thought that was pretty cool! Have a safe and happy St. Patrick's Day!

CFers or carriers...tell us about your ethnicity if you know it.


Katelyn said...

That is really interesting. My dad is part Irish and Indian (mainly Irish) and my mom is fully Scottish so when they found out that it's very common among people of Northern European descent, they were like, "Well, no duh you got it!" I didn't know it was THAT common in Ireland. How interesting!

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Wow! Those are incredible statistics! I wonder if people in Ireland are aware of how common the disease is there.

I have no idea of my background other than a distant claim of Native American. My family has been here so long no one remembers who came or where they came from. But given my fair complexion, blue eyes and freckles it stands to reason I'm mostly Northern European. :)

You've got me wondering if I AM a carrier. :)

Carrie said...

I am Anglo-Spanish (very little spanish more anglo)-- I have CF.

My son is a carrier-- his is Irish, english, spanish, scotish, welch,

Shayna said...

The high incidence of CF among Northern Europeans (and redheads) sounds familiar, so I think we may have talked about it before, but I didn't know that about Ireland. Of course being a little bit Irish, all Northern European, and a redhead, I find it very interesting!