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Born in Bradford: consanguinity and birth defects

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For decades, many have commented on the unusually high rate of congenital anomalies and metabolic disorders in certain northern and midland English cities. Some have linked this to their large Pakistani Muslim populations, who have a tradition of consanguinous marriage; others blame it on high levels of poverty and deprivation. Now, an important paper published in The Lancet helps us get some perspective (Sheridan et al. Lancet 2013;382:1350–9). The Born in Bradford study obtained questionnaire responses from nearly 11 400 mothers who gave birth in …

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