Original Article

Consanguineous marriages in the genetic counseling centers of Isfahan and the ethical issues of clinical consultations


Consanguineous marriage, which is common in many regions in the world,  has absorbed much attention as a causative factor in raising the incidence of genetic diseases. The adverse effects may be attributed to the expression of the genes received from common ancestors and mortality and morbidity of the offspring. Iran has a high rate of consanguineous marriages. In recent years genetic counseling has come to be considered in health care services. This cross-sectional study was conducted in order to determine the prevalence and types of consanguineous marriages in the genetic clinics in Isfahan. We aimed to define the different types of marriages, specific categories of genetic disorders associated with consanguineous marriages, and mode of inheritance in the family tree. We also narratively reviewed the ethical aspects of the issue.
The data were collected using a simple questionnaire. A total number of 1535 couples from urban and rural areas formed the study population. The marriages were classified according to the degree of the relationship between couples, including: double cousin, first cousin, first cousin once removed, second cousin and beyond second cousin. The SPSS software version 16 was used for data analysis.
Data obtained through genetic counseling offered during a 5-year period revealed that 74.3% had consanguineous relationships, 62.3% were first cousins, 1% were double cousins and 7.8% were second cousins. In addition, 76% of the couples had at least one genetic disease in their family tree. Related ethical issues were also considered in this study, including autonomy and informed decision making, benefit and harm assessment, confidentiality, ethics in research, justice in access to counseling services, financial problems ethics, and the intellectual property of scientific success.

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IssueVol 10 (2017) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
Genetic counseling Genetics Consanguineous marriage Medical ethics Iran

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How to Cite
Nouri N, Nouri N, Tirgar S, Soleimani E, Yazdani V, Zahedi F, Larijani B. Consanguineous marriages in the genetic counseling centers of Isfahan and the ethical issues of clinical consultations. J Med Ethics Hist Med. 2017;10.