Inbreeding Effects on Reproductive Outcome: A Study Based on a Large Sample from the Endogamous Vadde of Kolleru Lake, Andhra Pradesh, India

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Inbreeding effects on reproductive outcome vis-a-vis fertility, prenatal loss and prereproductive mortality, and secondary sex ratio of live and dead children were examined in a large sample of 2078 women of the Vadde fishing population of Kolleru Lake in Andhra Pradesh, India. Demographically, this population is a single endogamous unit. By using an exponential regression model with the proportion of offspring survival as a dependent variable and the inbreeding coefficient as an independent variable, I further examined the inbreeding effects. The results were compared with results from other fishing groups and other southern Indian and non-Indian populations. The results among the Vadde were consistent with those found for other groups of Telugu-speaking fishermen and several other southern Indian populations in that the effects were neither perceptible nor significant. The average B value and the number of lethal equivalents found for the highly inbred southern Indian populations in general and for the Vadde in particular were much smaller than those from other parts of the world, providing empirical support to Sanghvi’s hypothesis on long-term effects of inbreeding.

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