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Clin Genet. 1989 Nov;36(5):286-98.

Impact of public health on human genetics.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College, London, UK.


It is often thought that the incidence of genetic disease is rising, because improved medical care is increasing the survival, and therefore the cumulative number of affected people. This examination of the genetic implications of recent demographic change in Europe suggests that the incidence of genetic disease is in fact falling, for several reasons, most of which are indirect consequences of improved primary care. There seems to be no evidence that improved care for the handicapped will have long-term deleterious effects on the human gene pool.

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