Consanguinity and reproductive wastage in the Palestinian Territories
Many studies have found that consanguinity poses a threat to child mortality and health and can also pose a threat to offspring survival before birth. However, there are conflicting findings with some studies having found no increased risk on offspring survival associated with consanguinity. Data from a population-based survey conducted in 2004 in the Palestinian Territories was used to assess the risk of consanguinity on offspring survival. The analysis was conducted on 4418 women aged 15-49 who were asked whether or not they had experienced a stillbirth or a spontaneous abortion. These two outcomes were combined together for the analysis of reproductive wastage. Multivariable negative binomial regression was conducted to calculate the incidence risk ratios (IRR) for each region in the Palestinian Territories separately. The strongest risk factors for reproductive wastage, after controlling for other variables, were found to be consanguinity, age and parity with age presenting the highest IRRs. Standard of living, locality type, education level, women's employment and past intrauterine device use were not found to be significant risk factors for reproductive wastage. In the West Bank only first cousin level of consanguinity was found to be significant and 'hamola' level (or from same family clan) lost its significance after adjusting for other variables. In the Gaza Strip both the first cousin and 'hamola' levels of consanguinity were significant and presented almost equal IRRs of 1.3. In conclusion, consanguinity was found to be a significant risk factor for reproductive wastage.