SIR - Bradford's Child Death Overview Panel, in its recent annual report, raised the issue of genetic conditions linked to marriages between cousins.

It stated that these remain a factor in a significant proportion of child deaths in Bradford (T&A, February 15).

One therefore has to assume that there will also be a good number of other ongoing health problems, even when death has not occurred.

Consanguinity is common in South-Asian families, with a high proportion having married their cousins. This, it would seem, is another third world practice that really should be discouraged. As well as causing much hurt to the families involved, there is also a significant cost to the NHS.

Isn't it time that the South-Asian community joined together to discourage rather than encourage marriage with cousins?

It is also important to consider just how many of these marriages are arranged, and just what pressure is exerted before they go ahead. Too often these must be close to forced marriage, and it is surely time that arranged as well as forced marriages were banned. Do they really have any place in 21st century Britain?

Bob Watson, Springfield Road, Baildon