Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Immigration and married cousins in Australia

Erin O'Dwyer:

DOCTORS working with immigrant communities in Sydney's western suburbs hope human genome mapping will address high rates of infant death and birth defects in children born to first cousins.

A study at Auburn Hospital found almost 20 per cent of pregnant women admitted to the maternity ward in one year were married to their first or second cousins.

The research found babies were three times more likely to be born with birth defects and six times more likely to die in the womb or in infancy than babies in the general population.

But despite the alarming findings, published in 2001, there has been little research in the field since.

Westmead Children's Hospital geneticist David Sillence said the issue of marriage between blood relatives was extremely sensitive in communities in which it was practised, including Lebanese, Turkish, Iraqi, Iranian and Pakistani.

But Professor Sillence said a gene chip test - to identify whether couples carried the same faulty gene - could easily be developed in Australia because similar tests had been developed overseas.

Immigrant cousin marriage in Australia


At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead maybe first cousins shouldn't marry each other, at least not so often. This is the way much of the civilized world behaves. Which I think still includes Australia.

At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Ahrimahn said...

Multiculturalism and immigration = incest and inbreeding.


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