Sunday, May 17, 2015

Kissing cousins

And the consensus about health risks appears to be shifting. In 2002, the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) published the findings of a task force set up to look specifically at the risks for offspring of first cousins. They estimated that health risks for those children were about 1.7 percent to 2.8 percent higher than for children born to unrelated parents. They concluded that “There is a great deal of stigma associated with cousin unions in the United States and Canada that has little biological basis.”

See: RL Bennett, AG Motulsky, A Bilttles, L Hudgins, et al.  Genetic Counseling and Screening of Consanguineous Couples and Their Offspring:  Recommendations of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. Journal of Genetic Counseling. 2002;11: 97-119.

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