Descriptive study to assess the awareness of ill effects of consanguineous marriage on pregnancy, fetus and child in antenatal mothers


  • Dhipikasri Surendrakumar Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, SIMATS, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Rajalekshmi Murugan Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, SIMATS, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India



Consanguinity, Consanguineous marriage, Antenatal mothers, Awareness, Education, Socioeconomic class, Congenital anomalies


Background: Consanguinity  refers to marriage or a reproductive relationship between two closely related individuals. Consanguinity may significantly impact the occurrence of autosomal recessive conditions and congenital anomalies. The degree of relatedness between two individuals defines the proportion of genes shared between them. Hence this study was planned to assess the awareness level, the association between awareness level and education, association between awareness level of and socioeconomic class.

Methods: Direct interview through a self-structured questionnaire containing questions about demographic details, awareness of participants was conducted among (n=100) antenatal mothers attending SMC-OBG, OPD using convenient sampling. Knowledge of ≥50% is considered adequate. Data entry and analysis done using SPSS 16.0 software.  Descriptive statistics were calculated for background variables like socio-demographic characteristics. p value less than 0.05 were considered to be statistically significant.

Results: 54% have an educational qualification above high school. 58% belonged to the lower socioeconomic strata. 67% had adequate knowledge. Out of the 26 people who have had consanguineous marriage, 30.8% have 2’ consanguinity, 69.2% have 3’ consanguineous marriage. Participants having educational status above high school have 1.7 times more knowledge than lesser educational qualification. People of higher socioeconomic status have 3.2 times more knowledge than lower socioeconomic status. Association between knowledge with socioeconomic status is significant.

Conclusions: The target population has divergent attitudes towards consanguinity, though the awareness was decently high among many of them. Strategies to disseminate information in school programmes should be taken into consideration. Couples in consanguineous relationships can be identified, provided with information about their risk and, if needed referred for genetic counselling. 

Author Biographies

Dhipikasri Surendrakumar, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, SIMATS, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India


Rajalekshmi Murugan, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, SIMATS, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Associate Prof, Dept of OBG,


Lefranc MP, Lefranc G. Consanguinity. In: Maloy S, Hughes K, editors. Brenner's Encyclopedia of Genetics. 2nd ed. San Diego: Academic Press; 2013: 158-162

Koellner CM, Highsmith WE. The molecular basis of human diseases. In: Coleman W, Tsongalis G eds. Molecular Pathology. 2nd ed. United States: Academic press; 2018.

Holt RL, Trepanier A. Emery and Rimoin's principles and practice of medical genetics. 6th ed. Netherlends: Elsevier; 2013.

Hamamy H, Alwan S. Genomics and society. 1st ed. Netherlends: Elsevier; 2016.

Bittles AH, Black ML. Evolution in health and medicine Sackler colloquium: consanguinity, human evolution, and complex diseases. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2010;107(Suppl 1):1779-86.

Sandridge AL, Takedinn J, Al-Kaabi E, Frances Y. Consanguinity in Qatar: knowledge, attitude and practice in a population born between 1946 and 1991. J Biosoc Sci. 2010;42:59-82.

Teeuw ME, Hagelaar A, Ten Kate LP, Cornel MC, Henneman L. Challenges in the care for consanguineous couples: an exploratory interview study among general practitioners and midwives. BMC Fam Pract. 2012;13:105.

Henneman L, Timmermans DR, Van der Wal G. Public experiences, knowledge and expectations about medical genetics and the use of genetic information. Community Genet. 2004;7:33-43.

Sedehi, M, Keshtkar, AA, Golalipour, MJ. The knowledge and the attitude of youth couples on/towards consanguineous marriages in the north of Iran. J Clin Diagn Res. 2012;6:1233-6.

Rahmani, SA, Aboualsoltani, F, Pourbarghi, M, Dolatkhah, H, Aghazade, MA. The frequency of consanguineous marriages and their effects on offspring in Tabriz City. Shiraz E-Med J. 2010;11:18-27.






Original Research Articles