I've gleaned a potentially flawed impression over time that a more diverse gene pool should, in theory, result in healthier progeny. Something about dominant genes promoted over recessive genes..
As a result of the above, I always assumed I should favor a mate from another region if I want to have children, thus hopefully ensuring the children have a diverse mix of DNA bits to assemble out of.
I'm an American male (almost 38), and by a curious chance I find myself dating a Russian female (almost 29) who is in a US PhD program. We've been together a little over a year, and we've discussed marriage/children. So far so good.
However there's an observational wrinkle.. She sometimes associates with a local group of Russians and I tag along. Not long ago at a gathering with several young families, of which I think many are mixed-national (Russian and American), I was discouraged to observe what I thought was a disproportionate number of children with various disorders. If memory serves, there were 2 or 3 autistic and one down syndrome child out of about 11 or 12 kids of the same age.
[It might be worth noting that this is a church group. Church might provide a kind of social safe-haven that allows these families, particularly the children, to socialize with fewer concerns. As such it might make sense to see them in greater numbers.]
Anyway, suddenly I'm doubting my prevailing assumption about genetic diversity and wondering if there is a correlation between autism and the children of parents of mixed nationalities.
In this article, I read:
In the studies conducted in Nordic countries, a statistically significant 58% increased risk of autism was observed among the offspring of mothers born abroad.
So I find myself vexed. Is there a propensity for genetic challenges in children born to parents of mixed nationalities?
(FWIW I realize our ages dip into another risk factor, but I'm specifically asking about regional genetics.)