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MP is criticised for saying that marriage of first cousins is a health problem

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7528.1292 (Published 01 December 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1292
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. London

    A Labour MP has called for a public debate on the genetic risks of marriages between first cousins in Britain's Pakistani community, after reports of an unusually high rate of autosomal recessive disorders among children near her constituency.

    Ann Cryer, MP for Keighley in West Yorkshire, said on the BBC television programme Newsnight: “We have to stop this tradition of first cousin marriages.”

    “As we address problems of smoking, drinking, obesity, we say it's a public health issue, and therefore we all have to get involved with it in persuading people to adopt a different lifestyle. I think the same should be applied to this problem in the Asian community. They must adopt a different lifestyle. They must look outside the family for husbands and wives for their young people.”

    Ms Cryer's comments came after Bradford paediatricians noted an unusually high rate of autosomal recessive disorders among children. Peter …

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