Denmark: Cousin marriages account for third of babies with rare genetic diseases

Denmark: Cousin marriages account for third of babies with rare genetic diseases

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands (NL) Amsterdam Alderman Lodewijk Asscher is suggesting to ban cousin marriages.  This is not the first time this proposal comes up.  Asscher writes in an opinion piece in De Volkskrant that many problems with retarded boys are solved with import brides, who are brought to the Netherlands to serve a sort of life imprisonment as a carer/spouse.  Addtionally, he says that there are 1200 children in Amsterdam who are sent by their parents to school in their homeland. 


Every year 25 children are born with rare genetic diseases.   A third of them come from ethnic minority family, where the father and mother often have close family relations.

According to Sygeplejersken (Nurse) journal, the risk for cousin couples to have children with a handicap or genetic disease is double the average.

Karen Brøndum-Nielsen, a professor in clinical genetic for the Kennedy Institute explains.  "When you find a spouse who is related, the risk for that person to have the same sick gene as yourself is much higher than if you find one who's not from the family."

Cousin marriages is most common in families with Pakistani and Turkish roots.

A Norwegian study from 2007 shows that a third of Pakistanis and a tenth of Turks are married with a cousin.

And it will take a long time to change that says Karen Brøndum-Nielsen.  She says the practice is widespread in the Muslim culture and especially in the Middle East countries, and it is not something one can just change.

Source: DR (Danish)

See also:
* Netherlands: Proposal to ban cousin marriages
* Denmark: Cousin-marriages not necessarily coerced
* Denmark: Handling of cousin marriages to be changed
* UK: Proposal to ban cousin marriages

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