Journal of Biosocial Science 53 (3):356-366 (2021)

Consanguineous marriage is a deeply rooted tradition in the Arab world. Such marriages are linked to higher rates of recessive genetic diseases. During the Syrian conflict, which started in 2011, around one million Syrian individuals became refugees in Lebanon. This study assessed the consanguinity rates among Syrian refugees living in Lebanon up to three successive consanguineous generations, and examined refugees’ awareness of the possible consequences of consanguineous marriage and their attitudes towards consanguinity. Their knowledge of, and access to, premarital screening was also assessed. The study was conducted between January and May 2018. Several study sites representing refugees’ distribution within the country were chosen. The study sample included 1008 interviewees from different families. Of those interviewed, 51.9% were in a consanguineous marriage. Interestingly, 23.9% were the product of consanguineous marriages themselves, and 17.9% were consanguineous for three successive generations. The interviewees generally knew about premarital screening, but the majority had not had the screening. The high rates of consanguinity in these Syrian refugees call for immediate action, including raising genetic awareness and providing appropriate genetic counselling. Despite the respondents’ familiarity with premarital screening, there was a low rate of uptake of the test, underscoring the importance of providing better education to these refugees.
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DOI 10.1017/s002193202000022x
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Prevalence of Consanguineous Marriages in Syria.Hasan Othman & Mostafa Saadat - 2009 - Journal of Biosocial Science 41 (5):685.

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