The incidence of cystic fibrosis (CF) in Finland, 1:25 000 newborn, is one of the lowest in Caucasian populations. The ΔF508 mutation accounts for 18/40 (45%) of CF chromosomes in Finland. Other mutations were therefore sought among the remaining 55%. Twelve out of 40 chromosomes (30%) were found to carry 394delTT, whereas G542X and 3732delA were each detected in one chromosome. Eight mutations remained unidentified using a testing panel for 26 mutations. Mutation 394delTT was associated exclusively with haplotype 23-36-13. Five unknown mutations were associated with different haplotypes for microsatellite markers, whereas three shared the same haplotype. Most ΔF508 mutations and all unidentified mutations originated from regions of old and dense settlement in the coastal regions, whereas 394delTT was geographically clustered and enriched in a rural location, consistent with a local founder effect. The remote location of Finland and her population history give a plausible explanation for the rarity of CF in Finland.
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