Date of Award

Spring 1983

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Life & Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

James Manion

Second Advisor

Guido Bugni

Third Advisor

Rev. Jeremiah Sullivan

Abstract

The Hutterites are a religious human isolate that populate the regions of Montana, the Dakotas and Western Canada. It has been documented that the Hutterites’ history includes a significant founder effect, consanguinous marriages and a level of inbreeding that places the typical marriage at the level between first cousins once removed and second cousins. These events, it is assumed, should have resulted in decreasing the Hutterite gene pool making them more receptive to recessive alleles. This study examined the medical records of 384 Hutterite individuals with the purpose of finding evidence of consanguinous marriages and inbreeding and the affect this has on the occurrence of genetic diseases in the Hutterites. Involved were six different colonies located in North Central Montana. A general medical review of all diseases prevalent in the Hutterites was also conducted. Statistical analysis was performed comparing the frequency of particular diseases found in the Hutterites with the frequency encountered in the general population.

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