Prevalence and Epidemiology
Pp. 31-49 (19)
Lutfi Jaber and Gabrielle J. Halpern
The frequency of consanguineous marriages varies from one population to
another. Consanguineous marriage is not restricted to specific religions or to population
isolates, but is a long-standing practice in many regions of the world and it continues to
be preferred by many populations, with more than 1,000 million people living in
countries where between 20% and 50+% of marriages are consanguineous. Levels
above 5% occur in the northern part of Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia,
whereas in what is described as the "Western world" – i.e. the entire North American
continent, the whole of Europe (with the exception of Spain), Australia and New
Zealand – the frequency is less than 1%. In South America, parts of eastern and southeast
Asia, Spain and various parts of Africa the rate is between 1 and 10%. In other
parts of the world the frequencies are unknown.
Africa, consanguineous marriages, frequency, Middle East,
The Bridge to Peace Community Pediatric Center, Box 27, Taibe, 40400, Israel.