Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Extreme form of pregnancy-related morning sickness could be genetic

Date:
November 5, 2010
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Research that traced both the maternal and paternal family histories of women with hyperemesis gravidarum -- an extreme form of pregnancy-related morning sickness that hospitalizes 60,000 pregnant women each year -- suggests not only that the condition could be genetic but that women with sisters who had HG could have a more than 17-fold risk of experiencing the debilitating condition too.

Approximately 60,000 pregnant women are hospitalized each year due to hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), an extreme form of nausea and vomiting that endangers their lives and often forces them to reluctantly terminate their pregnancies.

Related Articles


And for women with sisters, mothers and grandmothers on either side of the family who have experienced extreme morning sickness during pregnancy, the risk of HG may be heightened, according to a new study led by researchers from UCLA and the University of Southern California.

Researchers traced both the maternal and paternal family histories of women with HG and found not only that the condition could be genetic but that women with sisters who had HG could have a more than 17-fold risk of experiencing the debilitating condition too.

The findings are published online in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

"Pregnant women with a family history of extreme nausea in pregnancy should be aware that they may have it too, and health care providers should take a family history of nausea in pregnancy at the first visit with an obstetrician," said lead author Marlena Fejzo, an assistant professor of hematology-oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and an assistant professor of maternal and fetal medicine at Keck School of Medicine of USC. "The high familial prevalence strongly suggests a genetic component to this condition."

Researchers surveyed about 650 participants for the joint study on the genetics and epidemiology of HG. Women who had been diagnosed with HG and treated with IV fluids were asked to recruit, as a control, a friend who had at least two pregnancies lasting more than 27 weeks and who had not had HG. The researchers then compared the family histories of extreme nausea in the women with HG with those of the controls. Of the 650 participants, 207 women with HG and 110 controls had at least one sister who had been pregnant.

The researchers found that women with HG were more than five times as likely as the controls to report having a sister with severe morning sickness or HG. When including sisters who had experienced HG -- and excluding sisters with just severe morning sickness -- study participants with HG had 17.3 times the odds of also having the condition. In addition, 33 percent of the women with HG reported having an affected mother, compared with only 8 percent of the controls.

Among the women who had information regarding their grandmothers' pregnancies, 18 percent of those with HG had a maternal grandmother with HG, and 23 percent had a paternal grandmother affected by the condition, suggesting that it can be passed on through the women's fathers.

The authors noted that their findings could be limited by factors such as having used the Internet to survey the participants and the fact that the family histories were based on self-reports, which can lead to misclassification.

"Because the incidence of hyperemesis gravidarum is most commonly reported to be 0.5 percent in the population, and the sisters of cases have as much as an 18-fold increased familial risk for HG compared to controls, this study provides strong evidence for a genetic component to extreme nausea and vomiting in pregnancy," the authors conclude.

Previous studies have used hospitalization, clinical and other records to examine the prevalence of this mysterious condition among various population sets. One looked at pregnancy nausea medication in identical twins, compared with fraternal twins, and another focused on mother-to-daughter recurrence. Overall, the prior studies also suggested that genetics are involved.

This study was funded by the Hyperemesis Education and Research Foundation (www.helpher.org), the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Other researchers on this study were Yafeng Zhang and Rita M. Cantor of UCLA; Thomas M. Goodwin and Patrick Mullin of USC; Kimber MacGibbon of the Hyperemesis Education and Research Foundation: and Roberto Romero of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. The original article was written by Enrique Rivero. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yafeng Zhang, Rita M. Cantor, Kimber MacGibbon, Roberto Romero, Thomas M. Goodwin, Patrick M. Mullin, Marlena S. Fejzo. Familial aggregation of hyperemesis gravidarum. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2010.09.018

Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Extreme form of pregnancy-related morning sickness could be genetic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101105091818.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2010, November 5). Extreme form of pregnancy-related morning sickness could be genetic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101105091818.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Extreme form of pregnancy-related morning sickness could be genetic." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101105091818.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins