Warning over cousin marriages


Bad news for those who marry their first cousins.

The high level of marriage between blood relatives within the Pakistani community accounts for nearly a third of birth defects in babies of Pakistani origin, a study shows.

Cousins who marry run double the risk of birth defects in their children, says the largest study of its kind in the Asian community.  

The Bradford research found that up to six out of 100 babies born to parents in the city who are blood relations have birth defects, compared with three in 100 of those who have not inter-married.

The Bradford rate is more than three times the national average of just under two per cent.

The findings are likely to renew controversy over what many claim is a taboo subject because of the cultural and religious issues relating to first-cousin marriages.

Ann Cryer, Labour MP for Keighley during the last Parliament, condemned cousin marriages, saying they harmed children and were arranged to keep wealth and property within families.


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  • Mr_Blobby

    Probably also accounts for the taboo subject, of why some races rate higher in our own mental health statistics. Inter racial breeding expands the gene pool. Inbreeding reduces it.

    Would explain a lot of the problems we have with some of our minorities.

  • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

    The Maori, Mana and Labour parties are pro-cousin marriage because they want to ensure that their constituency remains strong in the future.

  • Hazards001

    And we care cos…..?