Uptake of prenatal genetic diagnosis and termination of pregnancy by Omani Muslim families at risk of genetic disorders: experience over a 9-year period

Zandré Bruwer*, Salwa Al Ubaidani, Khalsa Al Kharusi, Fathiya Al Murshedi, Almundher Al-Maawali, Abeer Al Sayegh, Adila Al Kindy, Nihal Al Riyami, Tamima Al Dughaishi, Mouza Al Salmani, Nadia Al Hashmi, Maryam Al Shehhi, Badriya Al Fahdi, Sumaya Al Amri, Khalid Al-Thihli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies on the acceptance of prenatal diagnosis and termination of pregnancy for single gene disorders within Islamic societies in the Middle East are limited. A few have examined the attitudes toward pregnancy termination for fetal indications, but a dearth of published data exists on actual behavior and uptake. This study reports on all prenatal diagnosis requests for single gene disorders, from the Sultanate of Oman, over 9 years. A retrospective study was conducted during which the medical records of all women who performed prenatal diagnoses for single gene disorders were reviewed. A total of 148 invasive procedures were performed for 114 families. The total number of yearly requests for prenatal diagnosis increased exponentially from three in 2012 to 21 in 2020. Sixty-four different diagnoses were tested for with the majority being autosomal recessive in nature. Seventy-one percent (28/39) of cases where an affected pregnancy was identified were terminated. Fifty-two of the 114 women (45.6%) repeated prenatal diagnosis in a future pregnancy. Seventy-two couples (63%) were consanguineous parents related as second cousins or closer. The majority of tests performed were for couples from Muscat (27%), Albatinah (27%), and Alsharqiya (20.3%) governorates in Oman. The findings of this study provide evidence that prenatal diagnosis is an acceptable reproductive option to prevent the occurrence of genetic disorders that meet termination eligibility criteria as outlined by the Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) Council Fatwa, among Omani Muslim couples.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Community Genetics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Genetic disorders
  • Muslim
  • Oman
  • Prenatal genetic diagnosis
  • Termination of pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Genetics(clinical)

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