Journal of Genetics

, Volume 97, Issue 1, pp 307–309 | Cite as

Genetic disease in India and the West compared: provisional analysis of population dynamics

  • Nicholas Mitchison
  • Timothy Mitchison
Research note


The Indian Genetic Disease Database (IGDD) and Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) survey human populations that have different climate histories. Comparison of the two shows an outstanding difference in the relative frequency of recessive disease genes. Several of the diseases mediated at least in part by recessive gene mutations in India are not so mediated in the Western populations covered by OMIM, or are so mediated to a lesser extent. This we attribute to climate history, where population fall leading to inbreeding in the last ice age appears to have reduced the frequency of recessive disease genes in the Western world. This ‘ice age benefit’ hypothesis is further confirmed, partially by Kolmogorov–Smirnov analysis.


The Indian Genetic Disease Database Online Mendelian Disease in Man recessive dominant population ice age 


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University College LondonWC1E 6BTUK
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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