Consanguinity and the links to learning disabilities: the issues and pressures
Intended for healthcare professionals
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.e1957

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

sophie.a.w.smith1974@gmail.com

Conflict of interest

None declared

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

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