Utilization of prenatal genetic testing by Israeli Moslem women: A national survey

Carron Sher*, O. Romano-Zelekha, M. S. Green, T. Shohat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The number of prenatal genetic tests that are being offered to women is constantly increasing. However, there is little national data as to who is performing the tests and the reasons for doing or not doing so. The aim of the study was to evaluate the proportion of Israeli Moslem women who perform the various prenatal genetic tests and the factors affecting the performance of these tests. A 2-day survey was conducted in all the maternity departments in Israel based on a structured interview. Of the 242 women interviewed, 74.2% underwent the triple test (TT), 15.8% of the women older than 35 years who were eligible to take the test free of charge underwent amniocentesis and only 1.5% underwent fragile-X (FX) carrier testing which costs $100 privately. In the stepwise regression analysis, having fewer children and having had a higher education affected the performance of the TT. None of the sociodemographic factors were associated with the performance of amniocentesis or FX carrier testing, but the sample sizes were small. The main reason reported by the women for not performing the TT and FX carrier testing was not being referred for testing. The main reason for not performing amniocentesis was that they chose not to perform the test (the majority of these women were religious or ultrareligious). Consideration should be given to providing first-trimester prenatal diagnosis when termination of pregnancy in the Moslem population is more acceptable. In addition, consideration should be given to including state-subsidized FX testing as there is a low rate of FX testing partly due to the cost. Primary care givers should be educated about the importance of prenatal genetic testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-283
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Moslem
  • Performance
  • Prenatal genetic testing


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