Abortion Research Compendium – India

Consanguineous Marriage and Early Pregnancy Loss in Rural to Peri‑Urban India
Jamie M. Robertson,Kalpana Basany,Fouzia Farooq,Xiaoqing Tan,Gong Tang,Clareann H. Bunker,P. S. Reddy,Catherine L. Haggerty

Background: Consanguineous marriage (CM) has been linked to spontaneous abortion (SAB), although studies have largely been cross-sectional and likely underestimated early loss. We aimed to determine the relationships between CM and SAB in a prospective pregnancy cohort study in Telangana State, India. 

Methods: Data from 661 participants aged 15–35 years in the Longitudinal Indian Family hEalth (LIFE) study actively followed for pregnancy and pregnancy loss were analyzed. SAB was classified as early (< 8) or late (8–22) weeks gestation. We used logistic regression to model the relationships between CM, defined by first-cousin marriage, and SAB, adjusted for maternal age.

Results:  Women in CM were at a modestly increased risk of any (ORadj 1.15, 95% CI 0.69, 1.91) and early (ORadj 2.03, 95% CI 0.85, 4.83) SAB compared to women in non-CM, although results were not statistically significant. There was no relationship between CM and late SAB.

Conclusion: Among couples in southern India, there was a modest increase in early but not late SAB among CMs which may be explained by the expected influence of chromosomal abnormalities and lethal homozygous recessive disease on early loss. Pre- and Peri-marital Health Counseling that addresses this risk may be warranted.

Robertson JM, Basany K, Farooq F, Tan X, Tang G, Bunker CH, Reddy PS, Haggerty CL. Consanguineous Marriage and Early Pregnancy Loss in Rural to Peri-Urban India. J Obstet Gynaecol India. 2022 Aug;72(4):314-321.

Published Material / Journal Article / Research Study