Who is at risk for phenylketonuria (PKU)?

Some genetic disorders, including PKU, develop more often among people whose ancestors come from a particular region. People originally from the same region frequently share versions of their genes that have been passed down from common ancestors. These can include genes with mutations or changes that can cause PKU.

In the United States, PKU is most common in people of European or Native American ancestry. It is much less common among people of African, Hispanic, or Asian ancestry.2


  1. Genetics Home Reference. (2012). Phenylketonuria. Retrieved May 15, 2012, from http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/phenylketonuria
  2. Kaye, C. I., Committee on Genetics, Accurso, F., La Franchi, S., Lane, P. A., Hope, N., et al. (2006). Newborn screening fact sheets. Pediatrics, 118(3), e934–963.

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