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Links between consanguinity and genetic diseases

Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: TH


Context: Consanguinity, the practice of marrying close relatives, is a widespread tradition still practised in many human societies, particularly in Asia and West Africa.


Key points regarding consanguinity and genetic diseases:

  • Prevalence: An estimated 15-20% of the world’s population practices consanguinity, with India having numerous endogamous groups (people marrying within the same caste or tribe).
  • Consanguinity and Disease: Consanguineous societies, like the Amish population in the U.S., have been studied for recessive diseases, leading to the discovery of new genetic diseases and insights into genetic predisposition to common disease Research suggests that consanguinity may increase the risk of diseases like type-2 diabetes.