Hostname: page-component-cd4964975-pf4mj Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-03-29T16:59:52.382Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true


Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 November 2012

Department of Biology, College of Sciences, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
Department of Biology, College of Sciences, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran


The prevalence of consanguinity in eight provinces of Afghanistan has recently been reported by Saify & Saadat (2012). The present cross-sectional study was done in order to illustrate the prevalence and types of consanguineous marriages among other populations of Afghanistan. Data on types of marriages were collected using a simple questionnaire. The total number of couples in this study was 5200 from the following provinces: Farah, Ghazni, Herat, Hilmand, Kabul, Kandahar, Logar, Parwan and Wardak. Consanguineous marriages were classified by the degree of relationship between couples: double first cousins, first cousins, first cousins once removed, second cousins and beyond second cousins. The coefficient of inbreeding (F) was calculated for each couple and the mean coefficient of inbreeding (α) estimated for each population. The α in the country was 0.0226, ranging from 0.0203 in Farah province to 0.0246 in Herat province. There were significant differences between provinces for frequencies of different types of marriages (p<0.001). First cousin marriages (21.7%) were the most common type of consanguineous marriages, followed by second cousins (16.0%), first cousins once removed (14.0%), beyond second cousins (6.9%) and double first cousins (1.6%). There was significant difference between ethnic groups for the types of marriages (p<0.001). Tajiks (Soni) and Sadats showed the lowest (α=0.0215) and highest (α=0.0242) levels of consanguinity among ethnic groups in Afghanistan, respectively. The present study shows that the Afghani populations, the same as other Islamic populations, have high levels of consanguinity.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Akrami, S. M. & Osati, Z. (2007) Is consanguineous marriage religiously encouraged? Islamic and Iranian considerations. Journal of Biosocial Science 39, 313316.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Alper, O. M., Erengin, H., Manguoglu, A. E., Bilgen, T., Cetin, Z., Dedeoglu, N. & Luleci, G. (2004) Consanguineous marriages in the province of Antalya, Turkey. Annales de génétique 47, 129138.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bittles, A. H. (2001) Consanguinity and its relevance to clinical genetics. Clinical Genetics 60, 8998.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bittles, A. H. (2003) The bases of western attitudes to consanguineous marriage. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 45, 135138.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bittles, A. H., Grant, J. C. & Shami, S. A. (1993) An evaluation of consanguinity as a determinant of reproductive behaviour and mortality in Pakistan. International Journal of Epidemiology 22, 463467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Khoury, S. A. & Massad, D. (1992) Consanguineous marriage in Jordan. American Journal of Medical Genetics 43, 769775.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Mian, A. & Mushtaq, R. (1994) Consanguinity in population of Quetta (Pakistan): a preliminary study. Journal of Human Ecology 5, 4953.Google Scholar
Nafissi, S., Ansari-Lari, M. & Saadat, M. (2010) Effect of inbreeding on weight gain of offspring from birth to 12 months after birth: a study from Iran. Journal of Biosocial Science 42, 195200.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nafissi, S., Ansari-Lari, M. & Saadat, M. (2011) Parental consanguineous marriages and age at onset of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 126, 298299.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Othman, H. & Saadat, M. (2009) Prevalence of consanguineous marriages in Syria. Journal of Biosocial Science 41, 685692.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rafiee, L. & Saadat, M. (2011) Prevalence of consanguineous marriages among Iranian Georgians Journal of Biosocial Science 43, 4750.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Saadat, M. (2005) Epidemiology and mortality of hospitalized burn patients in Kohkiluye va Boyerahmad province (Iran): 2002–2004. Burns 31, 306309.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Saadat, M. (2007) Consanguineous marriages in Iranian folktales. Community Genetics 10, 3840.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Saadat, M. (2008) Is consanguineous marriage historically encouraged? Journal of Biosocial Science 40, 153154.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Saadat, M. (2011) Association between healthy life expectancy at birth and consanguineous marriages in 63 countries. Journal of Biosocial Science 43, 475480.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Saadat, M., Ansari-Lari, M. & Farhud, D. D. (2004) Consanguineous marriage in Iran. Annals of Human Biology 31, 263269.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Saadat, M. & Zendeh-Boodi, Z. (2006) Correlation between incidences of self-inflicted burns and means of inbreeding coefficients, an ecological study. Annals of Epidemiology 16, 708711.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saha, N. & El Sheikh, F. S. (1988) Inbreeding levels in Khartoum. Journal of Biosocial Science 20, 333336.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Saify, K. & Saadat, M. (2012) Consanguineous marriages in Afghanistan. Journal of Biosocial Science 44, 7381.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Tadmouri, G. O., Nair, P., Obeid, T., Al Ali, M. T., Al Khaja, N. & Hamamy, H. A. (2009) Consanguinity and reproductive health among Arabs. Reproductive Health 6, 17.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ul Haq, F., Jalil, F., Hashmi, S., Jumani, M. I., Imdad, A., Jabeen, al. (2011) Risk factors predisposing to congenital heart defects. Annals of Pediatric Cardiology 4, 117121.Google ScholarPubMed
Wahab, A., Ahmad, M. & Shah, S. A. (2006) Migration as a determinant of marriage pattern: preliminary report on consanguinity among Afghans. Journal of Biosocial Science 38, 315325.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed