Document Detail

An insight into recent consanguinity within the Basque area in Spain. Effects of autochthony, industrialization and demographic changes.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11572517     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: The importance of studying the genetic kinship of those human groups characterized by a deeply rooted ethnicity has traditionally been and still is an interesting goal of anthropological and population genetic studies. However, only a few surveys have aimed to learn about the impact of industrial development on the consanguinity of these populations and even those have concentrated on industrialized regions. This approach is worth analysing in Spain, where industrialization was late in relation to other western European countries. AIM: In this work we analyse the characteristics of inbreeding in Guipúzcoa from 1951 to 1995. This Basque province underwent industrial and tourist development earlier than other Spanish regions. It has the highest density of Basque speakers and has always occupied a central position within the map of distribution of the Basque language. Guipúzcoa is geographically placed in the core of the Basque area. SUDJECTS AND METHODS: Data on consanguineous marriages recorded in the province of Guipúzcoa between 1951 and 1995 were taken from Roman Catholic dispensations stored in the Diocesan Archives of San Sebastián, the province's capital city. Over the whole time period, a total of 1152 consanguineous marriages were registered. RESULTS: The high frequencies of first cousin (M22) (F = 1/16) and uncle-niece, aunt-nephew (M12) (F = 1/8) consanguineous marriages distinguish Guipúzcoa from the rest of Iberian populations. The M22/M33 ratio (with M33 being second cousins) has never dropped below 0.67, which represents a significant deviation from the expectation value of 0.25. When consanguineous marriages are classified according to marriage partner birthplaces interesting results emerge. Provincial endogamy shows the highest consanguinity rates (57%) and the proportion of M22/M33 is also rather high (0.63). However, a major contribution to the consanguinity levels and mean inbreeding coefficient recorded in Guipúzcoa over recent decades has been made by immigrant relative groups coming from other geographical areas of Spain. In this segment of population the observed M22/M33 rates are 1.44. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows again how important preferentiality (or avoidance) is in human consanguinity, and also how human groups, in spite of being spatially settled in the same territory, present differential attitudes for given consanguinity patterns.
M A Alfonso-Sanchez; J A Peña; U Aresti; R Calderón
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Annals of human biology     Volume:  28     ISSN:  0301-4460     ISO Abbreviation:  Ann. Hum. Biol.     Publication Date:    2001 Sep-Oct
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-09-26     Completed Date:  2002-01-23     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0404024     Medline TA:  Ann Hum Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  505-21     Citation Subset:  IM    
Universidad del Pais Vasco, Bilbao, Spain.
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MeSH Terms
Family Characteristics
Population Dynamics
Spain / ethnology

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