The Knowledge and the Attitude of Youth Couples On/Towards Consanguineous Marriages in the North of Iran
Prof. Mohammad Jafar Golalipour
Gorgan Congenital Malformations Research Center,
Golestan University of Medical Sciences.
P.O. Box: 49175-1411.
Phone & Fax: + 98(171)4425165, 4421660
Aim: Consanguinity is an important risk factor in genetic diseases and in congenital malformations. This study was done to assess the knowledge and the attitude of youth couples on/towards consanguineous marriages in the north of Iran.
Material and Methods: This descriptive-analytic study was carried out on 250 young people (125 couples) in Northern Iran during the year 2008. The information was obtained by a direct interview and the questionnaire included four sections which comprised of 39 closed questions. The data was analyzed by using SPSS, version 11.5 and the Chi-Square test.
Results: Consanguineous marriages were observed in 32.5% of the couples. Consanguineous marriages were determined in 20.87% and 11.63% of the rural and the urban residents respectively. The knowledge of the youth was poor (49.2% of the females and 40% of the males) on the genetic consequences of inbreeding. The results on the attitude of youths showed that 38.8% of the subjects had agreed and that 61.2% of them had disagreed on consanguineous marriages. There was a significant association between the knowledge of the youths and their attitudes towards consanguineous marriages with their ethnicity, education and residency (p<0.05).
Conclusions: This study showed that the knowledge of the youth couples towards consanguineous marriages was poor. Health education programs are needed to improve the knowledge of the youth couples on consanguineous marriages; that they are a potential risk factor in congenital malformations and in genetic diseases in the offspring.