evidence and practice
Consanguinity and the links to learning disabilities: the issues and pressures
Sophie Smith Learning disability staff nurse and assistant team leader, Additional Support Unit, Whipton Hospital, Exeter, England
Consanguinity is defined as the result of a sexual reproduction of two related individuals, but may also reference populations that share a common ancestor or communities that practise endogamy. There is a higher prevalence of genetic anomalies of the offspring of consanguineous relationships. However, the habit of blaming ethnic minorities for their own genetic conditions is unhelpful and has detrimental consequences for families and their children.
This article discusses some of the issues related to consanguineous unions and their link to congenital abnormalities and the perceived increase in learning disabilities and considers how genetic services for people in consanguineous unions might be improved. The article focuses mainly on the Pakistani Muslim population in northern England with reference to local research.
Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2019.e1957Peer review
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated softwareCorrespondence
Smith S (2019) Consanguinity and the links to learning disabilities: the issues and pressures. Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2019.e1957
Published online: 25 January 2019