Friday, March 30, 2007

PKD more prevalent among Mormons

My parents were both born in Utah, and raised Mormon. I was not born in Utah, but I still tell people that I'm originally from there, as I lived there during my teenage years. I am also a devout Mormon, like most of the rest of my family.

My father met the president of the PKD Foundation the other day. He was introduced by a mutual acquantaince. They got chatting, of course, about me and my condition. The president knew that my father was from Utah, and a Mormon, and mentioned that PKD is about 3 times as prevalent in Utah than anywhere else. They suspect it has to do with the fact that the original Mormon gene pool was rather small. That also might explain why the University of Utah allegedly is second only to NIH in genetic research about PKD.

It may also explain why the only other people I have ever bumped into beyond the members of the PKD Foundation who have actually had any experience with PKD are actually Mormon as well. A member of my congregation had an aunt and an uncle both die of PKD. Her mother, who has never been tested and has, to date, outlived the age of both her siblings, feels like she lives with a cloud over her head. If it were me, I would just get tested and get it over with, dang it. But I'm sure she has her reasons for her chosen path of ignorance.

Not that this particular bit of trivia actually changes anything, of course. But it makes me wonder, as I go to church and look at everybody there who can trace their family ancestry back to some original pioneers (and, after all, we Mormons are famous for our incredible devotion to geneology), who might have this particular gene lurking about.

Something to think about the next time the church meetings get a little boring.


Lisa M. said...

That is interesting.

Smaller gene pool. I wouldn't have thought of that, I don't think. Interesting.

I did know about the U of U though, in my kidney and liver research it has come up more than once.

E sees two specialists for his liver and kidneys at the UofU, and often in the office, chatting turns to PKD.

Next time, I'll just say, "What ward are you in."

Janell said...

Perhaps I'm jumping into the middle of a blog series, but what is PKD?

Janell said...

Please excuse the hasty question. I just clued into all of the helpful links in your sidebar =)

Heather O. said...


PKD is polycystic kidney disease, which is a genetic, progressive disease that eventually can cause kidneys to fail. I hope everything you read was helpful!

Thanks for reading.