Consanguineous Marriages in a Suburb of a Metropolitan City: A Study from Bursa, Turkey

Ozdemir H., Alper Z., Bilgel N.

TURKIYE KLINIKLERI TIP BILIMLERI DERGISI, vol.29, no.5, pp.1235-1241, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1235-1241
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: The objective of this study was to explore consanguinity, consanguineous marriages, their different types, and socio-demographic correlates in a suburb of Bursa, the fourth largest city in Turkey. Material and Methods: A total of 1380 ever married women, who attended the Emek Family Medicine Clinic in this suburb over a period of one year, were requested to participate in the study. Those who gave their informed consent were accepted as study participants. A total of I 110 women were interviewed. The questionnaire provided information on consanguinity and socio-demographic data. Analyses were made by using SPSS V.11.5. Results: The mean age of our study participants was (mean SE) 34.2 +/- 0.6 years. Most of them were illiterate and housewives. About one-third of the participants had consanguineous marriages and about 93% of those marriages were between first cousins. Among first cousin unions, marriage with uncle's male child was the most common. The mean coefficient of inbreeding was 0.015458. Consanguineous marriages were more prevalent among illiterate women, Consanguineous marriages were 4 times more common in women with a family history of consanguinity than in women without any such history. There were no significant correlations between consanguineous marriages and reported stillbirths, miscarriages or infant deaths. However, we found a significant relationship between consanguineous marriages and reported congenital malformations of the offspring. Conclusion: We conclude that offspring of consanguineous unions are at high risk for some congenital malformations and diseases. Hence, we recommend that families with a high risk for genetic diseases be identified and be provided with prospective genetic counseling.