April 1994

Consanguineous Matings in an Israeli-Arab Community

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Tulane Medical Center, Tulane University, New Orleans, La (Dr Jaber); the Taibe (Israel) Community Pediatric Center (DrJaber); the Unit of Community Pediatrics (Dr Jaber) and the Department of Medical Genetics (Dr Shohat), Children's Medical Center of Israel, Petah-Tiqwa; Tel-Aviv (Israel) University Sackler School of Medicine (Drs Jaber and Shohat); Beit Berl College, Hasharon, Israel (Mr Haj-Yehia); and the Department of Biometry and Genetics, Louisiana State University Medical Center (Dr Bailey-Wilson), and Dillard University (Dr Hernandez), New Orleans.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994;148(4):412-415. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1994.02170040078013

Objective:  To determine the frequency of consanguineous marriages and the inbreeding coefficient in Israeli Arabs.

Design:  Cohort survey.

Setting:  General community in 70 settlements in Israel.

Participants:  Nine thousand three hundred IsraeliArab students in the second grade were sent questionnaires to be filled out by their fathers, with 8521 completed questionnaires returned.

Interventions:  None.

Measurements/Main Results:  Of the 8521 completed questionnaires, 1156 (14%) were from urban areas, 2267 (27%) were from suburban areas, and 5098 (60%) were from rural areas. The prevalence of consanguineous matings in the studied group was 44.3%, with a mean inbreeding coefficient of. 0192. This prevalence is high and was highest in the rural areas. Marriages between first cousins occurred more often than marriages between other relatives in all locations.

Conclusion:  The frequency of consanguineous marriages is quite high among Israeli Arabs, approaching 50%.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994;148:412-415)