In Argentina information concerning relatedness of mates, especially first cousins, was introduced into the legal marriage certificate, record, and statistical report in 1968. The 1980-1981 biennial data, including 212,320 legal marriage reports, were analyzed for all of Argentina, subdivided into 22 states and 494 counties. The registered 0.373% of first-cousin marriages allows an estimate of consanguineous marriages of 0.629% and a mean inbreeding coefficient of α = 0.00031. This estimate lies between the observed α = 0.00011 from hospital births and α = 0.00052 from Roman Catholic Church dispensations. These differences are not large, and they may be due to sampling variations, indicating a low rate of inbreeding in Argentina. The frequency of first-cousin marriages in the 22 Argentine states is heterogeneous, and 9 counties, representing 5 different regions, were identified as having a high rate of first-cousin marriage. Three of these were previously known as genetic isolates. A second series of data, including all 32,690 legal marriages registered in the state of Buenos Aires during the first half of 1984, showed a frequency of first-cousin marriages of 0.677%. First-cousin mates, compared with non-firstcousin mates, had a higher frequency of both mates being bom in the same state of Buenos Aires and similar frequency distributions for age at marriage, single previous marriage status, level of education, and rate of unemployment. It is concluded that legal marriage data on consanguinity is reliable, inexpensive, universal, and enduring. The last two characteristics make them suitable for the survey of geographic clusters and time trends.
Castilla, Eduardo E.; Gomez, Maria Atilia; Lopez-Camelo, Jorge S.; and Paz, Joaquin E.
"Frequency of First-Cousin Marriages from Civil Marriage Certificates in Argentina,"
2, Article 9.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol63/iss2/9