A genetic and demographic investigation of the Zoroastrians of Iran
The aim of this study was to examine the Zoroastrians of Yazd, Kerman and Tehran to determine whether or not they differed from each other genetically and from the host population of Iran; to study the Parsis and Iranis - Zoroastrians Who had migrated to India in the 7th Century A.D., and compare the results with those of neighbouring Indian populations. It was hoped to obtain a large number of samples in order to make accurate comparisons, but, owing to the contemporary complex political situation, this proved impossible. Attempts were made to explain the variants in terms of present day demo graphic theories but were hampered by the paucity of published data. Blood, serum and isoenzyme group examinations were made. Serological and electro0ioretic techniques were used to determine ABo, MNSs, Rh, Kell, Duffy, KP, haptoglobin, adenylate kinase, acid fiiosphatase, esterase D and 0ios0ioglucanutase factors in a total of 469 Zoroastrians. Demographic features of contemporary Zoroastrians were studied and the results compared with those of Iranians and Parsis. (No demographic data was available for the Iranis of India.) This revealed that the fertility ratio of the Zoroastrians is lower and present day infant mortality higher than those for the latter groups. Serological test results together with the demographic findings suggest that the long practise of consanquinial marriage may account for the differences which we can observe today.