Cystic Fibrosis and genetic inheritance


Q: Hi, about twenty years ago, when my daughter was tested fo Cystic Fibrosis because of her small size. She was not quite 5 feet and weighted under 100 pounds and still is. She had her share of childhood diseases but nothing excessive. Well, the result for high normal. The pedriatrician at the time suggested it could mean she was a carrier but we have no Cystic Fibroisis in our family. Well, she is 32 years old now and pregnant, should we be concerned. Marlene


A:   A carrier has only one cystic fibrosis gene and has no symptoms. You could inherit single gene from one of your parents and never even know it. If only one parent from a couple is a carrier, none of the children will have the disease, but there is a 50-50 chance that each child will be a symptomless carrier. When both parents are carriers, there is a 25% chance (1 in 4) that their child will have cystic fibrosis. There is a 50-50 chance that the child will be a carrier like the parents. And there is a 25% chance that the baby will not have the gene - not a carrier and not have the disease.


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