Consanguineous marriages have been practiced around the globe by many societies from time immemorial, particularly in South India. Consanguineous marriages play a major role in the health of a population, and diseases leading to mortality of the progeny are a consequence of detrimental recessive genes. To evaluate the effects of ancestral consanguinity on mortality in relation to consanguineous marriage, we have ascertained data from 1,500 women belonging to three endogamous communities (Akuthota Reddy, Odde, and Madiga) of Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh, India. There were 500 women from each community. For each marriage we drew a family pedigree, extended upward to two earlier generations on either side of the spouses to determine the prevalence and pattern of consanguinity, with detailed information on fertility and mortality. We observed a significant difference in the mortality rates between consanguineous and nonconsanguineous marriages when all the marriages of the women, women’s parents, and (women’s) husband’s parents were considered in all three communities. In inbreeding, the offspring of earlier generations might have passed on deleterious genes to later generations (under unfavorable conditions), which resulted in a negative aspect of reproduction (among the offspring of the present couple).
Reddy, T. P. K.; Reddy, K K.; and Reddy, P G.
"Ancestral Consanguinity and Mortality Among Three Endogamous Populations of Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh, India,"
4, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol79/iss4/4