Consanguinity and Its Effect on Fertility and Infant and Child Mortality in Egypt
Rita G. Khayat, University of Notre Dame
Prem C. Saxena, Independent Consultant
This paper examines the effect of consanguineous marriages on fertility and infant and child mortality in Egypt using country’s Demographic Health Survey 2000 data - a nationally representative sample of 16957 households from six governorates of Egypt that includes 15573 ever-married women aged 15-49. These women have been grouped into three separate categories of marriages, namely, ‘close consanguineous’, ‘remote consanguineous’ and ‘non-consanguineous’. GLIM and logistic regression models have been used to see the impact of consanguinity on fertility and offspring’s mortality, respectively after exercising statistical controls on selected socio-economic variables. The results show higher fertility among close consanguineous and remote consanguineous couples. The risk of infant mortality was higher by 30% and 19% in these two groups of women, respectively. Similarly, the risk of child mortality is found elevated among the close consanguineous couples by more than 50% and among remote consanguineous couples by 27% as compared to non-consanguineous unions.