Top of the page
A carrier is a person who can pass an inherited (genetic) disease on to his or her children but who does not have the disease. The person can also pass on carrier status.
Some diseases are caused by changes in a person's chromosomes or genes. Each person inherits 23 chromosomes from each parent and so has 23 pairs of chromosomes. One or both of the chromosomes in a pair may carry gene changes in a way that causes an inherited (genetic) disease.
The chromosomes are made up of genes. A gene is a portion of DNA that controls or helps control one trait, such as blood type. A change in a gene can cause a genetic disease. In some cases the same gene on both chromosomes in a pair must carry a change for the person to have the disease. This is known as an autosomal recessive condition. If only one of the genes in the pair is affected, the person is a carrier.
Some genetic conditions are caused by changes in the X or Y chromosome. These chromosomes determine a person's sex.
Current as of: December 9, 2019
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Siobhan M. Dolan, MD, MPH - Reproductive Genetics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Make an Appointment
Pay a Bill
For Medical Professionals
Graduate Medical Education
Nursing at WellSpan
Clinical Research Programs
Who We Are
Make a Donation
Connect With Us
Non-Discrimination Statement |
Aviso Contra la Discriminación
© WellSpan Health | Disclaimer & Policies