Consanguinity among the Arab and Jewish populations in Israel

Lutfi Jaber, Gabrielle J. Halpern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Consanguineous marriages are associated with many problems, although the prevailing opinion is that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. This explains why the custom is still extremely prevalent, particularly in Arab countries, India and small isolated communities. Among Israeli Arabs there has been a reduction in the rate of such marriages, although it is still sufficiently high to cause medical problems. Among Israeli Jews, the rate has always been much lower. Future goals are to expand the educational programs aimed at the Israeli Arab community and to promote the uptake of genetic counseling and prenatal testing where available in order to reduce the health problems even further. Ongoing research in order to identify specific genes will enable more conditions to be detectable early in pregnancy. We expect that the willingness of families to agree to termination of affected pregnancies will reduce the number of babies born with these conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-446
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Endocrinology Reviews
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
StatePublished - Aug 2006


  • Congenital malformations
  • Consanguineous marriages
  • Genetic disorders
  • Israeli Arabs


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