Why inbreeding really can be deadly

A Middle Eastern baby girl will have diarrhoea for the rest of her short life as a result of her parents - who are first cousins - marrying.

The unnamed toddler, from the United Arab Emirates, has a severely reduced life expectancy due to the bizarre condition.

Known as a congenital diarrhoea disorder, it sees her take to the toilet each time she feeds - forcing her to become reliant on fluids.

Pumped full of water and nutrients as her body is unable to absorb any, doctors have implied she will most likely die without such invasive treatment.

The condition, triggered by inbreeding, has severely affected her, having only just started to become mobile. 

Doctors have said she has signs of liver disease, and has already had to fight off deadly central line infections caused by the treatment.  

Her parents, from Abu Dhabi, had previously lost a child who suffered from very similar symptoms, experts wrote in BMJ Case Reports.

This case highlights the worrying health problems that can occur as a result of inbreeding between first cousins, which is becoming increasing prevalent in the UK among British Pakistanis. 

This worrying case highlights the health problems that can occur as a result of inbreeding between first cousins, which is becoming increasing prevalent in the UK among British Pakistanis (pictured, Hiba Maroof, who lives in Bradford, talking to her two sisters just before their double wedding to their cousins in BBC Three documentary 'Should I Marry My Cousin')

This worrying case highlights the health problems that can occur as a result of inbreeding between first cousins, which is becoming increasing prevalent in the UK among British Pakistanis (pictured, Hiba Maroof, who lives in Bradford, talking to her two sisters just before their double to their cousins in BBC Three documentary 'Should I Marry My Cousin')

Legal in the UK  

Despite being highly controversial for its substantial links to defects, 55 per cent of British Pakistanis marry their first cousins.

In Bradford, which has a large Muslim population, it is as high as 70 per cent, figures suggest. This triggered leading geneticist Professor Steve Jones, of University College London, to call the town 'very inbred' six years ago.

Earlier this year, a documentary displayed the real-life dilemma many Pakistani girls living in Bradford face when it comes to marriage.

BBC Three's 'Should I Marry My Cousin' showed the tale of Hiba Maroof, who toyed between the idea of following family tradition and marry her cousin or tie the knot with a man of her own choice. 

For some Muslim girls it is an arrangement they agree to in order to keep their families happy, as Bradford-born Hiba explained in the discovered in the documentary.

The 18-year-old is faced with the dilemma of whether she should follow family tradition and marry a cousin or tie the knot with a man of her own choice. 

A 'cultural thing' 

But experts stress the practice, which provides security and stability, is more of a 'cultural thing' rather than a religious one. 

A recent report revealed while British Pakistanis were responsible for three per cent of all births, they accounted for 30 per cent of those born with a genetic illness.

REVEALED: WHAT IS THIS LITTLE GIRLS' CONDITION

Congenital sodium diarrhoea (CSD) - a rare, inherited cause of diarrhoea - was first described in 1985.

It is caused by a range of genetic twists that trigger a defective sodium and hydrogen exchance in the body.

Prior to this case there were five known mutations ascribed to the SPINT2 gene, but the discovery of the new one, dubbed c.43G, extends it to six. 

CSD forms part of a wider branch of congenital diarrhoeal disorders, which all require immediate life-saving treatment.

Sufferers quickly become dehydrated with the repeated bouts of diarrhoea, causing them to require fluids. 

The rare condition is most likely to strike in

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