Pubblicazioni IGM

Consanguinity and late fertility: spatial analysis reveals positive association patterns.


Lisa A, Astolfi P, Zei G, Tentoni S.


ANNALS OF HUMAN GENETICS 79(1) 37-45, 2015

Autori CNR




The role of consanguinity on human complex traits is an important and controversial issue. In this work we focused on the Sardinian population and examined the effect of consanguineous unions on late female fertility. During the last century the island has been characterized by a high incidence of marriages between relatives, favoured by socio economic conditions and geographical isolation, and by high fertility despite a widespread tendency to delay reproduction. Through spatial analysis techniques, we explored the geographical heterogeneity of consanguinity and late fertility, and identified in Central-Eastern Sardinia a common area with an excess of both traits, where the traits are positively associated. We found that their association did not significantly affect women's fertility in the area, despite the expected negative role of both traits. Intriguingly, this critical zone corresponds well to areas reported by previous studies as being peculiar for a high frequency of centenarians and for lower risk in pregnancy outcome. The proposed approach can be generally exploited to identify target populations on which socioeconomic, biodemographic and genetic data can be collected at the individual level, and deeper analyses carried out to disentangle the determinants of complex biological traits and to investigate their association. 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/University College London.

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