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Title: Consanguineous unions and the burden of disability: A population-based study in communities of Northeastern Brazil
Authors: WELLER, MathiasTANIERI, MarinaPEREIRA, Josecleide CalixtoALMEIDA, Ednno Dos SantosKOK, FernandoSANTOS, Silvana
Citation: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF HUMAN BIOLOGY, v.24, n.6, p.835-840, 2012
Abstract: Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify communities at high risk of transmitting recessive genetic disorders by measuring levels of endogamy and offspring's rate of disabilities. Methods: In a house-to-house population based-survey in the state of Paraiba, 20,462 couples were interviewed regarding kinship relation, number of siblings and offspring affected by mental or physical disabilities. Results: The rate of consanguineous unions in the communities ranged from 6.0% to 41.14%, showing an average value of 20.19% +/- 9.13%. The overall average inbreeding coefficient (F) was 0.00602 +/- 0.00253, ranging from 0.00134 to 0.01182. Communities situated on the backlands had an increased average value of F compared to those closer to the seashore (P = 0.024). The average rate of disabled offspring varied from 2.96% +/- 0.68% for unrelated unions to 10.44% +/- 16.86% for related couples at the level of double first cousins or uncleniece. The Spearman correlation coefficient between the overall rate of disabled offspring from all couples together and F was 0.510 (P < 0.01). Conclusion: Inbreeding increases the risk of disability which is unevenly distributed, varying considerably even in neighboring communities with similar Human Development Index and population density. Higher inbreeding communities are mostly located on the more economically underdeveloped backlands than on the coastal region. The identification of communities at high risk for genetic disorders could serve as basis for the establishment of Community Genetics programs. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2012. (C) 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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