Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

ENDOGAMY, CONSANGUINITY AND THE HEALTH IMPLICATIONS OF CHANGING MARITAL CHOICES IN THE UK PAKISTANI COMMUNITY

  • Neil Small (a1), Alan H. Bittles (a2) (a3), Emily S. Petherick (a4) and John Wright (a5)

Summary

The biraderi (brotherhood) is a long-established, widely prevalent dimension of social stratification in Pakistani communities worldwide. Alongside consanguinity, it offers a route for cementing social solidarities and so has strong socio-biological significance. A detailed breakdown of biraderi affiliation among participants in an ongoing birth cohort study in the northern English city of Bradford is presented. There is historical resilience of intra-biraderi marriage, but with a secular decline in prevalence across all biraderi and considerable reductions in some. While a majority of marriages in all biraderi are consanguineous the prevalence varies, ranging from over 80% to under 60%. In consanguineous unions, first cousin marriages account for more than 50% in five of the fifteen biraderi and >40% in six others. Within-biraderi marriage and consanguinity enhance genetic stratification, thereby increasing rates of genomic homozygosity and the increased expression of recessive genetic disorders. The trends reported constitute putative signals of generational change in the marital choices in this community.

Copyright

Corresponding author

1 Corresponding author. Email: N.A.Small@bradford.ac.uk

References

Hide All
Barakat, B. & Basten, S. (2014) Modelling the constraints on consanguineous marriage when fertility declines. Demographic Research 30, 277312.
Baston, L. (2012) The Bradford Earthquake: Lessons from Bradford West for Election Campaigning and Political Engagement in Britain. Democratic Audit, Liverpool.
Bhopal, R., Petherick, E. S., Wright, J. & Small, N. (2014) Potential social, economic and general health benefits of consanguineous marriage: results from the Born in Bradford cohort study. European Journal of Public Health 24, 862869.
Bittles, A. H. (2001) Consanguinity and its relevance to clinical genetics. Clinical Genetics 60, 8998.
Bittles, A. H. (2008) A Community Genetics perspective on consanguineous marriage. Public Health Genomics 11, 324330.
Bittles, A. H. (2009) Consanguinity, genetic drift and genetic diseases in populations with reduced numbers of founders. In Speicher, M., Antonarakis, S. E. & Motulsky, A. G. (eds) Human Genetics – Principles and Approaches, 4th Edition. Springer, Heidelberg, pp. 507528.
Bittles, A. H. (2012) Consanguinity in Context. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN: 978-0-521-78186-2.
Bittles, A. H. (2013) Consanguineous marriages and congenital anomalies. Lancet 382, 13161317.
Bittles, A. H. & Black, M. L. (2010) Evolution in health and medicine Sackler colloquium: consanguinity, human evolution and complex diseases. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 107, 17791786.
Bittles, A. H., Mason, W. M., Greene, J. & Appaji Rao, N. A. (1991) Reproductive behavior and health in consanguineous marriages. Science 252, 789794.
Bittles, A. H. & Small, N. (2015) Consanguinity, genetics and definitions of kinship in the UK Pakistani population. Journal of Biosocial Science doi: 10.1017/S0021932015000449.
Cameron, H. (2006) An examination of the demographic impact of ‘transnational marriage’ between citizens of the UK and the Indian sub-continent. Paper presented at Political Demography: Ethnic, National and Religious Dimensions. London School of Economics.
Campbell, H., Rudan, I., Bittles, A. H. & Wright, A. F. (2009) Human population structure, outbreeding and human health. Genome Medicine 1, 91.
Corry, P. C. (2014) Consanguinity and prevalence patterns of inherited disease in the UK Pakistani community. Human Heredity 77, 207216.
Darr, A., Small, N., Ahmad, W. I. U., Atkin, K., Corry, P., Benson, J., Morton, R. & Modell, B. (2013) Examining the family-centred approach to genetic testing and counselling among UK Pakistanis: a community perspective. Journal of Community Genetics 4, 4957.
Darr, A., Small, N., Ahmad, W., Atkin, K., Corry, P. & Modell, B. (2015) Addressing key issues in the consanguinity-related risk of autosomal recessive disorders in consanguineous communities: lessons from a qualitative study of British Pakistanis. Journal of Community Genetics doi 10.1007/s12687-015-0252-2.
de Koning, M., Storms, O. & Bartels, E. (2014) Legal “ban” on transnational cousin-marriages: citizen debate in the Netherlands. Transnational Social Review: A Social Work Journal 4, 226241.
Gazal, S., Sahbatou, M., Babron, M-C., Genin, E. & Leutenegger, A-L. (2015) High level of inbreeding in final phase of 1000 Genomes Project. Nature Scientific Reports 5, 17453.
Grjibovski, A., Magnus, P. & Stoltenberg, C. (2009) Decrease of consanguinity among parents of children born in Norway to women of Pakistani origin: a registry-based study. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 37, 232238.
Hamamy, H., Antonarakis, S. E., Cavalli-Sforza, L. L., Temtamy, S., Romeo, G., ten Kate, L. P. et al. (2011) Consanguineous marriages: pearls and perils. Geneva International Consanguinity Workshop Report. Genetics in Medicine 13, 841847.
Hooper, E. & Hamid, A. I. (2003) Scoping Study on Social Exclusion in Pakistan: A Summary of the Findings. Department for International Development, London, pp. 134.
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (2010) Global Burden of Disease. WHO, Geneva.
Jabeen, N. & Malik, S. (2014) Consanguinity and its sociodemographic differentials in Bhimber District, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition 32, 301313.
Jalkh, N., Sahbatou, M., Chouery, E., Megarbane, A., Leutenegger, A-L. & Serre, J. L. (2015) Genome-wide inbreeding estimation within Lebanese communities using SNP arrays. European Journal of Human Genetics 23, 13641369.
Liversage, A. & Rytter, M. (2015) A cousin marriage equals a forced marriage: regulations, discourses and strategies of transnational consanguineous marriages in Denmark. In Shaw, A. & Raz, A. (eds) Cousin Marriages: Between Tradition, Genetic Risk and Cultural Change. Berghahn Books, Oxford & New York, pp. 130153.
Meulemans, H., Mortelmans, D., Liefooghe, R., Mertens, P., Zaidi, S. A., Solangi, M. F. & De Muynck, A. (2003) The limits to patient compliance with directly observed therapy for tuberculosis: a socio-medical study in Pakistan. International Journal of Health Planning and Management 17, 249267.
Michael, L. (2004) Leadership in Transition? Issues of Representation and Youth in British Asian communities. ESRC/OPPM Postgraduate Research Programme, Working Paper No. 12.
Mohmand, S. K. (2011) Patrons, brothers and landlords: competing for the vote in rural Pakistan. DPhil thesis, University of Sussex.
Raynor, P. Born in Bradford Collaborative Group (2008) Born in Bradford, a cohort study of babies born in Bradford, and their parents: protocol for the recruitment phase. BMC Public Health 8, 327. URL: www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/8/327.
Samad, Y. & Eade, J. (2002) Community Perceptions of Forced Marriage. Community Liaison Unit, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London.
Seebohm, P., Henderson, P., Munn-Giddings, C., Thomas, P. & Yasmeen, S. (2005) Together We Will Change – Community Development, Mental Health and Diversity. Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, London.
Shaw, A. (2000) Kinship and Continuity: Pakistani Families in Britain. Harwood Academic, Amsterdam.
Shaw, A. (2009) Negotiating Risk: British Pakistani Experiences of Genetics. Berghahn, Oxford.
Shaw, A. (2014) Drivers of cousin marriage among British Pakistanis. Human Heredity 77, 2636.
Sheridan, E., Wright, J., Small, N., Corry, P., Oddie, S., Whibley, C. et al. (2013) Risk factors for congenital anomaly in a multiethnic birth cohort: an analysis of the Born in Bradford study. The Lancet 382, 13501359.
UNICEF, WHO, World Bank & UN-DESA Population Division (2014) Levels and Trends in Child Mortality. WHO, Geneva.
Uphoff, E., Pickett, K., Cabieses, B., Small, N. & Wright, J. (2013) A systematic review of the relationships between social capital and socioeconomic inequalities in health: a contribution to understanding the psychosocial pathway of health inequalities. International Journal for Equity in Health 12, 54.
WHO (2006) Medical Genetic Services in Developing Countries: The Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Genetic Testing and Screening. WHO, Geneva.
Wright, J., Small, N., Raynor, P., Tufnell, D., Bhopal, R., Cameron, N. et al. (2013) Cohort profile: the Born in Bradford multi-ethnic family cohort study. International Journal of Epidemiology 42, 978991.
Zaman, M. (2008) Socio-cultural security, emotions and exchange marriages in an agrarian community. South Asia Research 28, 285298.

ENDOGAMY, CONSANGUINITY AND THE HEALTH IMPLICATIONS OF CHANGING MARITAL CHOICES IN THE UK PAKISTANI COMMUNITY

  • Neil Small (a1), Alan H. Bittles (a2) (a3), Emily S. Petherick (a4) and John Wright (a5)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed