Consanguineous marriage in Oman: understanding the community awareness about congenital effects of and attitude towards consanguineous marriage

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Background: Although consanguinity is widely practiced in Oman, the attitude of community towards consanguinity and the awareness of its health consequences to offspring remain largely unexplored. Aim: To analyse the levels and trends of consanguineous marriage and examine community awareness about congenital anomaly associated with consanguinity and attitude towards consanguinity in Oman. Subjects and methods: The data come from a nationally representative survey on Omani adults of age 18 years and above, irrespective of their marital status. Data were analysed using both descriptive and multivariate statistical techniques. Results: The survey results indicate a very high rate (49%) of consanguineous marriage in Oman. There is a declining trend in consanguinity which may be attributed to decline in first cousin marriage. Omani adults have moderately high knowledge (69%) about health consequences of consanguineous marriage. There is a high positive attitude towards consanguineous marriage (75%) which appeared as a significant predictor of current practice of consanguineous marriage in Oman. Conclusion: The positive attitude of the Omani community towards consanguinity outweighs the negative health consequences of consanguinity, and the practice is likely to remain high in the near future. Strong educational and motivational programmes are needed to bring further changes in attitude towards consanguinity and, thus, reduce the burden of congenital anomalies associated with consanguinity in Oman.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of Human Biology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Sep 7 2016



  • attitude
  • community
  • Consanguineous marriage
  • knowledge
  • Oman

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Physiology
  • Ageing
  • Genetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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