The impact of consanguinity on children health in Jordan Valley


Taym Mona RN and Kassab Manal RN

Consanguineous unions have been associated with an increased susceptibility to various forms of inherited recessive disease in many parts of the world, including Arab populations. First cousin unions where the individuals share 1/8 of their genes are very common in Middle East cultures and could affect disease risk. Although consanguinity is known to contribute to hereditary and congenital diseases, the incidence of such diseases is still not clear in Jordan population. This study was performed to determine the prevalence of genetic, congenital/mental disorders (ex. Congenital Heart Diseases (CHD), cleft lip, mental and sensory handicap) and chromosomal aberration disorders and their association with parental consanguinity in a selected sample of children in Jordan Valley. The present study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of and their association with parental consanguinity in a sample of children selected from Jordan Valley. The study also explored incidence of children with hereditary diseases, congenital abnormalities and handicaps in Jordan valley in relation to other factors such as sex and mode of transmission. A descriptive analysis of all children with hereditary and congenital diseases among 100 affected children ages 6 months - 15 years was conducted. The study consisted of a 100 children-parents of children whom were having a child affected by a genetic abnormalities and/ or congenital malformations/ diseases. Families-children dyads were approached through local health centres and school. Data were collected through questionnaire which was adopted from health centre. The questionnaire provided information on consanguinity status and date of marriage among two generations: the affected children, and their parents. Data on consanguinity status among 100 children was obtained. Descriptive quantitative analysis was used to analyse data. The overall consanguinity of parents was 74% and the inbreeding coefficient was (0.025). Consanguineous marriages remain an important factor associated with hereditary abnormalities in northern Jordan. The closer the relationship of mates, the greater genetic effect and its associated abnormalities were found. This result is similar to other places with similar social features.

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