U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 23-year-old female asked:

My parents were cousins & my brother had down syndrome. now i am too getting married to my cousin soon, are there any birth defect risks in our future babies, how to prevent those risks ?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Prevent=don't marry: Down syndrome is a random event & has nothing to do with their cousin status. We each have recessive genes to an estimated 3-5 potential metabolic problem like PKU and the closer a kinship, the more chance an offspring from that pairing would have a recessive genetic disease. This is highest if a parent fathers a child with a daughter, and the risk declines the further away the relationship goes
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Reconsider?: I agree with Dr. Ferguson. Marrying one's cousin definitely brings increased genetic risks to off spring.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership
Last updated Jul 18, 2020

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.