A 29-year-old female asked:
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what will be the chances of birthdefects in my children if i marry a maternal cousin whose parents are first cousins? no cousin marriages in my family

2 doctor answers
Dr. James Ferguson
45 years experience Pediatrics
Risks in mariage: Geneticists estimate that we all carry at least 4 gene defects that when paired with another carrier could produce chronic disease (like cystic fibrosis) or death( metabolic disorder).Any marriage between close relatives increases this statistical risk. Marrying outside the family decreases risk substantially for rare afflictions. Your risk could be as high as 25% for kids with some disorders.
Answered on Feb 20, 2019
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Dr. Johanna Fricke
49 years experience Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Pre-marital genetic : Counseling will help define your risk of autosomal recessive genetic disorders, in which each parent carries the harmful gene mutation.In pakistan, first-cousin marriage has a 7.9% risk of infant mortality ; a 5-6% risk for birth defects, but having multiple generations of first-cousin marriages increases chances of having a child with a recessive disorder 13 times that of the general population.
Answered on Mar 25, 2015
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Dr. Johanna Fricke
49 years experience Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Provided original answer
In researching this, I learned that 50% of current marriages in Pakistan & 55% of current marriages in Paki-Britons are first-cousin marriages. The problem is that having more than one generation of first-cousin marriage in a specific population means the couple may be more genetically linked than their relationship shows.
Mar 31, 2014

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