Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 283–289 | Cite as

Consanguinity and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes: The North of Jordan Experience

  • Basil R. Obeidat
  • Yousef S. Khader
  • Zouhair O. Amarin
  • Mohammad Kassawneh
  • Mousa Al Omari


This cross-sectional study was carried out to assess the association between consanguineous marriages and adverse pregnancy outcome in the north of Jordan. Women delivered in four major hospitals in the north of Jordan between April 2007 and May 2007 were included in the study. Non-Jordanian women and women with multiple pregnancies were excluded. Mothers answered a pilot-tested structured questionnaire administered by trained personnel in the maternity ward. Data regarding pregnancy outcomes were obtained from the patients’ individual records. A total of 3,269 women with a mean age of 27.2 (SD 6.6) years were included. About 49% of women had consanguineous marriages. Consanguineous marriages were significantly associated with low birth weight delivery (13.9% vs. 10.1%), preterm delivery (19.9% vs. 12.3%), and births with congenital anomalies (4.1% vs. 0.8%) compared with non-consanguineous marriages. In the multivariate analysis, consanguinity was significantly associated with preterm delivery (OR = 1.5, 95% CI 1.2, 1.9), and congenital malformations (OR = 6.5, 95% CI 2.8, 15.3). In conclusions, this study supports the association between consanguinity and some adverse pregnancy outcomes.


Consanguinity Pregnancy Stillbirth Preterm delivery 


  1. 1.
    Modell, B., & Darr, A. (2002). Science and society: Genetic counseling and customary consanguineous marriage. Nature Reviews. Genetics, 3, 225–229. doi:10.1038/nrg754.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    al-Salem, M., & Rawashdeh, N. (1993). Consanguinity in north Jordan: Prevalence and pattern. Journal of Biosocial Science, 25(4), 553–556. doi:10.1017/S0021932000021921.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Tamim, H., Khogali, M., Beydoun, H., Melki, I., Yunis, K., & National Collaborative Perinatal Neonatal Network. (2003). Consanguinity and apnea of prematurity. American Journal of Epidemiology, 158, 942–946. doi:10.1093/aje/kwg226.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Yunis, K., El Rafei, R., & Mumtaz, G. (2008). Consanguinity: Perinatal outcomes and prevention—a view from the middle east. NeoReviews, 9(2), e59. doi:10.1542/neo.9-2-e59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Alwan, A., & Modell, B. (1997). Community control of genetic and congenital disorders. EMRO Technical Publication Series 24. Egypt: WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean Region.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Khoury, S. A., & Massad, D. (1992). Consanguineous marriages in Jordan. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 43, 769–775. doi:10.1002/ajmg.1320430502.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hamamy, H., Janhawi, L., Al-Darawsheh, J., & Ajlouni, K. (2005). Consanguineous marriages in Jordan: Why is the rate changing with time? Clinical Genetics, 67, 511–516. doi:10.1111/j.1399-0004.2005.00426.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mumtaz, G., Tamim, H., Kanaan, M., Khawaja, M., Khogali, M., Wakim, G., et al. (2007). Effect of consanguinity on birth weight for gestational age in a developing country. American Journal of Epidemiology, 165, 742–752. doi:10.1093/aje/kwk108.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    de Costa, C. M. (2002). Consanguineous marriage and its relevance to obstetric practice. Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey, 57, 530–536. doi:10.1097/00006254-200208000-00023.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Yunis, K., Mumtaz, G., Bitar, F., Chamseddine, F., Kassar, M., Rashkidi, J., et al. (2006). Consanguineous marriage and congenital heart defects: A case–control study in the neonatal period. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 140, 1524–1530.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sezik, M., Ozkaya, O., Sezik, H. T., Yapar, E. G., & Kaya, H. (2006). Does marriage between first cousins have any predictive value for maternal and perinatal outcomes in pre-eclampsia? Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research, 32, 475–481. doi:10.1111/j.1447-0756.2006.00432.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Benson, J. W. (2005). Recessive disorders and consanguineous marriage. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 331, 1475. doi:10.1136/bmj.331.7530.1475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hamamy, H. A., Masri, A. T., Al-Hadidy, A. M., & Ajlouni, K. M. (2007). Consanguinity and genetic disorders. Profile from Jordan. Saudi Medical Journal, 28, 1015–1017.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Koury, S. A., & Massad, D. F. (2000). Consanguinity, fertility, reproductive wastage, infant mortality and congenital malformations in Jordan. Saudi Medical Journal, 21, 150–154.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hussain, R., Bittles, A. H., & Sullivan, S. (2001). Consanguinity and early mortality in the Muslim populations of India and Pakistan. American Journal of Human Biology, 13, 777–787. doi:10.1002/ajhb.1124.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Stoltenberg, C., Magnus, P., Skrondal, A., & Lie, R. T. (1999). Consanguinity and recurrence risk of stillbirth and infant death. American Journal of Public Health, 89, 517–523.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Jaber, L., Merlob, P., Gabriel, R., & Shohat, M. (1997). Effects of consanguineous marriage on reproductive outcome in an Arab community in Israel. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 34, 1000–1002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Al-Eissa, Y. A., & Ba’Aqeel, H. S. (1994). Risk factors for spontaneous preterm birth in a Saudi population. European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, 57, 19–24. doi:10.1016/0028-2243(94)90104-X.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Saad, F. A., & Jauniaux, E. (2002). Recurrent early pregnancy loss and consanguinity. Reproductive Biomedicine Online, 5, 167–170.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pedersen, J. (2002). The influence of consanguineous marriage on infant and child mortality among Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Community Genetics, 5, 178–181. doi:10.1159/000066333.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Bacon, C., & Fryers, P. (1994). Infant death and consanguineous marriage. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 308, 980.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Orstavik, K. H., Lindemann, R., & Steen, J. (1994). Infant death and consanguineous marriage. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 308, 659.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    al Husain, M., & al Bunyan, M. (1997). Consanguineous marriages in a Saudi population and the effect of inbreeding on prenatal and postnatal mortality. Annals of Tropical Paediatrics, 17, 155–160.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Jaber, L., Romano, O., Halpern, G. J., Livne, I., Green, M., & Shohat, T. (2005). Awareness about problems associated with consanguineous marriages: Survey among Israeli Arab adolescents. The Journal of Adolescent Health, 36, 530. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2004.08.003.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Stunkard, A., & Albaum, J. (1981). The accuracy of self-reported weights. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 31, 1593–1599.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Wing, R., Epsein, L. H., & Ossip, D. J. (1979). Reliability and validity of self report and observers estimates of relative weight. Addictive Behaviors, 4(2), 133–140. doi:10.1016/0306-4603(79)90047-9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Shafi, T., Khan, M. R., & Atiq, M. (2003). Congenital heart disease and associated malformation in children with cleft lip and palate in Pakistan. British Journal of Plastic Surgery, 56, 106–109. doi:10.1016/S0007-1226(03)00044-4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kulkarni, M. L., & Kurian, M. (1990). Consanguinity and its effect on growth and development: A South Indian study. Journal of Medical Genetics, 27(6), 348–352.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Nath, A., Patil, C., & Naik, V. A. (2004). Prevalence of consanguineous marriages in a rural community and its effect on pregnancy outcome. Indian Journal of Community Medicine, 29, 1–3.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Basil R. Obeidat
    • 1
  • Yousef S. Khader
    • 2
  • Zouhair O. Amarin
    • 1
  • Mohammad Kassawneh
    • 3
  • Mousa Al Omari
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyJordan University of Science and TechnologyIrbidJordan
  2. 2.Department of Community Medicine and Public HealthJordan University of Science and TechnologyIrbidJordan
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsJordan University of Science and TechnologyIrbidJordan

Personalised recommendations