Background: The long tradition of high prevalence of consanguineous marriages in Omani society may have ramifications for reproductive behaviour and health of offspring. Aim: To examine the relevance of consanguinity to reproductive behaviour, adverse pregnancy outcome and offspring mortality in Oman. Subjects and methods: The data analysed came from the 2000 Oman National Health Survey. Selected indicators that are related to reproductive behaviour, adverse pregnancy outcome and offspring mortality were considered as explanatory variables. Various statistical methods and tests were used for data analysis. Results: Consanguineous marriage was found to be associated with lower age at first birth, higher preference for larger family size, lower level of husband-wife communication about use of family planning methods and lower rate of contraceptive use. Although bivariate analysis showed elevated fertility and childhood mortality among the women with consanguineous marriage, after controlling for relevant socio-demographic factors in multivariate analysis, fertility, childhood mortality and foetal loss showed no significant association with consanguinity in Oman. Conclusion: Consanguinity plays an important role in determining some of the aspects of reproduction and health of newborns, but did not show any detrimental effects on fertility and offspring mortality. The high level of consanguinity and its relevance to reproduction in Oman need to be considered in its public health strategy in a culturally acceptable manner.
- First cousin marriage
- Foetal loss
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health