At Risk for Birth Defects

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By Molly Clifton

A new large study out of England confirms that babies born to first cousins are twice as likely to have birth defects compared to babies whose parents are not closely related.

Babies born to mothers over 34 years old are also twice as likely to have birth defects compared to babies with younger mothers.

But researchers say while the risk is double it is still very small, just 6 percent for the children of cousins and 4 percent for the children of older mothers.



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