22 January 2021
A mutation disparity in Arabs
Published online 30 April 2010
A mutation in the gene encoding the human clotting cofactor V, which is known as the factor V Leiden (FVL) mutation, puts people at up to a 140-fold increased risk of developing venous thromboembolic disorders (VTEs).
Researchers from Kuwait conducted a study on a sample of 400 healthy Arabs from Kuwait, Syria, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Egypt, to screen for the FVL mutation. In total, 9% of the people who took part in the study were found to carry the mutation. However, only 4.5% of the Kuwaiti Arabs screened positive for FVL, compared with 18% of the non-Kuwaiti Arabs.
The low incidence seen in the Kuwaitis was similar to results from previous studies conducted in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, both of which are geographically close to Kuwait; those countries that showed a high prevalence of the mutation were geographically farther away, around the eastern Mediterranean basin.
The researchers suggest that, when studying the FLV mutation in Arabs, it might be useful to divide them into two groups: those from the Arab peninsula and those from Eastern Mediterranean countries. Further studying the origin of the FVL mutation in Arabs, particularly those in the second group, could help in locating a chromosomal locus for Arab ancestry to be linked to FVL and could explain the inconsistency in the results between the two groups.