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S Afr Med J. 1991 Jan 5;79(1):7-11.

Founder effect in 20 Afrikaner kindreds with pseudoxanthoma elasticum.

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  • 1Department of Medical Genealogy, South African Medical Research Council, Parowvallei, CP.


The pedigrees of 20 families with pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) were investigated. The analyses involved 13 generations up to and including the initial settlers, who arrived in the Cape before 1660. Four settler surnames predominate in these pedigrees. Because of the marriage patterns of the settlers' descendants it was necessary to classify the four surnames into two groups. It is suggested that these two groups are the founder groups of present-day PXE patients. Similar genealogical studies have been performed on kindreds with familial polyposis, familial heart block and familial hypercholesterolaemia, among other disorders. Due to geographical isolation, political developments and cultural factors in the Afrikaner, these investigations are feasible and often lead to the identification of founder origin.

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