Consanguineous marriages in the UAE

Department of Paediatrics, UAE University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
Journal of Biosocial Science (Impact Factor: 0.98). 11/1997; 29(4):491-7. DOI: 10.1017/S0021932097004914
Source: PubMed


This study examines the frequency of consanguineous marriage and the coefficient of inbreeding in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The study was conducted in Al Ain and Dubai cities between October 1994 and March 1995. A sample of 2033 married UAE females aged 15 years and over participated. The degree of consanguinity between each female and her spouse, and the degree of consanguinity between their parents were recorded. The rate of consanguinity in the present generation was high (50.5%) with a coefficient of inbreeding of 0.0222. The commonest type of consanguineous marriage was between first cousins (26.2%). Double first cousin marriages were common (3.5%) compared to other populations. The consanguinity rate in the UAE has increased from 39% to 50.5% in one generation. The level of consanguinity was higher in Al Ain (54.2%) than in Dubai (40%).

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    • "In Egypt, Temtamy et al., [42] reported that high rates of consanguinity were found in polygenic disorders. Also Al-Ghazali et al., in UAE reported that consanguinity was identified as a risk factor for several morbid conditions including congenital abnormalities and multifactorial disorders [43]. Also in a study done in Qatar, Bittles et al., reported that there is a significant increase in the prevalence of common adult diseases like mental retardation , hearing defects, heart diseases and others in consanguineous families [5]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Consanguineous marriages have been practiced since the early existence of modern humans. Until now, consanguinity is widely practiced in several global communities with variable rates. The present study was undertaken to analyze the effect of consanguinity on different types of genetic diseases and child morbidity and mortality. Patients were grouped according to the types of genetic errors into four groups: Group I: Chromosomal and microdeletion syndromes. Group II: Single gene disorders. Group III: Multifactorial disorders. Group IV: Diseases of different etiologies. Consanguineous marriage was highly significant in 54.4% of the studied group compared to 35.3% in the control group (P < 0.05). Consanguineous marriages were represented in 31.4%, 7.1%, 0.8%, 6%, 9.1% among first cousins, one and a half cousins, double first cousins, second cousins and remote relatives respectively in the studied group. Comparison between genetic diseases with different modes of inheritance showed that recessive and multifactorial disorders had the highest values of consanguinity (78.8%, 69.8%, respectively), while chromosomal disorders had the lowest one (29.1%). Consanguineous marriage was recorded in 51.5% of our cases with autosomal dominant diseases and in 31% of cases with X linked diseases, all cases of mental retardation (100%) and in 92.6% of patients with limb anomalies (P < 0.001). Stillbirths, child deaths and recurrent abortions were significantly increased among consanguineous parents (80.6%, 80%, 67%) respectively than among non consanguineous parents. In conclusion, consanguineous marriage is significantly higher in many genetic diseases which suggests that couples may have deleterious lethal genes, inherited from common ancestor and when transmitted to their offsprings, they can lead to prenatal, neonatal, child morbidity or mortality. So public health education and genetic counseling are highly recommended in our community.
    Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics 04/2013; 14(2):157–164. DOI:10.1016/j.ejmhg.2013.01.002
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    • "Among Gulf Arabs, around half of all marriages are with a second or closer cousin and half of those are between first cousins. Arabs preferentially marry a paternal cousin; hence around 2/3 of first cousin unions are paternal [43] [44]. Paternal first cousin marriages reduce genetic conflict (Fig. 1). "
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    ABSTRACT: We propose that conflict between paternally and maternally derived genes in the fetus explains three apparently unrelated observations in epidemiological studies of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2): (i) low birth weight is a risk factor for the development of DM2, (ii) there is a high prevalence of low birth weight among babies of fathers who develop DM2, and (iii) an exceptionally high prevalence of DM2 exists in modern day Arabs. Genetic conflict is caused by a particular relationship between the parents, their genes and their offspring: (i) mothers are sometimes polyandrous i.e. have children with more than one man, (ii) mothers provide more biological resources to the fetus than fathers, and (iii) the genes that regulate fetal growth come from both parents and both sets of genes determine the use of resources which are only those of the mother. There is a tendency for maternally derived genes (that promote fetal growth) to be suppressed, in order to spare use of mother's resources, while the same paternally derived genes tend to be expressed (to enhance use of the mother's resources). These same genes are pleiotropic: they affect not only fetal growth (birth weight) but also insulin resistance and hence the development of DM2. Polyandry increases differences in the expression between two parental alleles in the fetus i.e. increases genetic conflict and results in the production of bigger babies whereas monandry has the opposite effect. Consequently, parent-of-origin-biased expression of pleiotropic developmental genes could explain why smaller babies are more common when the fathers have DM2. Similarly less genetic conflict in Arabs (resulting from the tradition of strict monandry, the practice of levirate, and preference for a paternal cousin as spouse) could explain, at least in part, their exceptionally high prevalence of DM2. This hypothesis links human mate selection with the risk of developing DM2.
    Medical Hypotheses 01/2013; 80(4). DOI:10.1016/j.mehy.2012.12.036 · 1.07 Impact Factor
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    • "ed marriage is to mother ' s brother ' s daughter . Father ' s brother ' s daughter is considered to be preferred in most Muslim communities in the Middle East . For example in Jordan , UAE and Yemen , 57% , 64 . 4% and 71 . 8% , respectively , of all first cousin marriages are paternal parallel marriages ( father ' s brother ' s daughter ) ( al - Gazali et al . , 1997 ; Jurdi & Saxena , 2003 ; Hamamy et al . , 2005 ) . In Sinai , a negative association was seen between husband and wife kinship and polygamy : namely , in first cousin marriages , the husband is less likely to acquire a second wife ( Leonard & Crawford , 2002 ) ."
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    ABSTRACT: SummaryA total of 3961 married couples from six major geographical areas representing the South Sinai governorates in Egypt were studied to assess the rate of consanguineous marriage. The population of six selected areas (St Catherines, Nuweiba, Abu Rudeis, Ras Sudr, El Tor and Abu Zenima) were subdivided into Bedouin, urban and mixed populations. A questionnaire-based interview was conducted showing that the consanguinity rate in this region is 37.5%, with the highest rate recorded in Abu Rudeis (52.3%) and lowest rate in Nuweiba (24.1%). Consanguinity was significantly higher among the Bedouin population compared with the urban population in Abu Rudeis, Ras Sudr, El Tor and Abu Zenima, while in St Catherines and Nuweiba there was no statistically significant difference. Among consanguineous couples, 5%, 60% and 35% were double first cousins, first cousins and second cousins respectively. The mean inbreeding coefficient α of the studied population was 0.01845.
    Journal of Biosocial Science 05/2012; 45(1):1-9. DOI:10.1017/S002193201200020X · 0.98 Impact Factor
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