Consanguineous marriages : Preconception consultation in primary health care settings

J Community Genet. 2012 Jul;3(3):185-92. doi: 10.1007/s12687-011-0072-y. Epub 2011 Nov 22.


Consanguinity is a deeply rooted social trend among one-fifth of the world population mostly residing in the Middle East, West Asia and North Africa, as well as among emigrants from these communities now residing in North America, Europe and Australia. The mounting public awareness on prevention of congenital and genetic disorders in offspring is driving an increasing number of couples contemplating marriage and reproduction in highly consanguineous communities to seek counseling on consanguinity. Primary health care providers are faced with consanguineous couples demanding answers to their questions on the anticipated health risks to their offspring. Preconception and premarital counseling on consanguinity should be part of the training of health care providers particularly in highly consanguineous populations.