Im wondering what relation my father's cousin (my grandfather's brother's son) would be to me...?? And would there be any problems later on down the track when we get married and decide to have children???
Your father's first cousin is your first cousin once removed. Consanguinity refers to when both members of a couple are related to each other by at least one common ancestor. First cousins once removed are considered 4th degree relatives and share 1/16 of their genes.
We all have two copies of almost every gene - one from each parent. In autosomal recessive (AR) conditions, it is typically necessary to have two mutations, one in each gene copy, to be affected. People with only a mutation in a single gene are called carriers, and typically do not have any symptoms of the condition.
It is believed that we all are carriers of at least 8-10 different autosomal recessive conditions. The chance that both members of a couple are both carriers of the same AR condition is increased if they are related to one another, as they each could have inherited a mutation from the same common ancestor.
To give some background information, the general population risk for two non-related people to have a child with a birth defect is estimated at 3-4%. In the absence of a known autosomal recessive condition in a family, the risk for first cousins to have a child with a birth defect is believed to be doubled, 6-8%. The risk for 4th degree relatives to have a child with a birth defect (again; without a known AR condition in the family) may be considered in between the general population risk and the first cousin risk. In a family with a known AR condition, this risk may be even higher.
We recommend that you meet with a genetic counselor, who can better assess risk based on ethnicity, family history and personal history. A genetic counselor can discuss the benefits and limitations of all available genetic testing options. You can find a genetic counselor at the National Society of Genetic Counselors Website or through companies like mine, AccessDNA.
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