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Consanguineous marriages and their effects on pregnancy outcomes in India
Authors: Diddy Antai, Shrikant Kuntla, Srinivas Goli, T.V. Sekher, and Riddhi Doshi
Source: International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 33(7/8): 437-452; DOI: 10.1108/IJSSP-11-2012-0103
Topic(s): Marriage
Country: Asia
  India
Published: JUL 2013
Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate the association between the marriage among blood relatives and resulting adverse pregnancy outcomes. Design/methodology/approach – This study uses data from India Human Development Survey in 2005. The methods of analyses include bivariate, trivariate estimates and Cox proportional hazard regression model. Findings – The results reveal that the occurrence of consanguineous marriages is more predominant in southern India and among socioeconomically disadvantageous groups. Moreover, women in consanguineous unions are more likely to have adverse pregnancy outcomes including stillbirths (RR=1.59, p-value<0.01), abortions (RR=3.03, p-value<0.01), miscarriages (RR=1.94, p-value<0.01) and spontaneous miscarriages (RR=1.70, p-value<0.01). Consanguineous marriages continue to be a critical predictor of adverse pregnancy outcomes in India. Practical implications – In order to avoid loss of pregnancy and related reproductive health problems in India, it is imperative to create awareness regarding the adverse effects of consanguineous marriages, focusing on the regions with high prevalence. Originality/value – This unique study comprehensively examines the occurrence of consanguineous marriages and their association with adverse pregnancy outcomes by using advanced statistical analyses and nationally representative data. Keywords: Social dynamics, Public health, Marriage, Pregnancy, India