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Consanguinity and its effects on infant and child mortality and fertility in Egypt

Rita G. Khayat, University of Notre Dame
Prem C. Saxena, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai-400088, India

This paper examines the effect of consanguineous marriages on infant & child mortality and fertility in Egypt using country’s Demographic Health Survey 2000 data - a nationally representative sample of 16957 households from six governorates of Egypt that includes 15573 ever-married women aged 15-49. These women have been grouped into three separate categories of marriages, namely, ‘close consanguineous’, ‘remote consanguineous’ and ‘non-consanguineous’. GLIM and logistic regression models have been used to see the impact of consanguinity on fertility and offspring’s mortality, respectively after exercising statistical controls on selected socio-economic variables. The results show higher fertility among close consanguineous and remote consanguineous couples. The risk of infant mortality was higher by 30% and 19% in these two groups of women, respectively. Similarly, the risk of child mortality is found elevated among the close consanguineous couples by more than 50% and among remote consanguineous couples by 27% as compared to non-consanguineous unions.

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Presented in Session 35: Family and Child Health