Familial hyperinsulinism (HI; MIM# 256450) is an autosomal recessive disorder of pancreatic beta-cell function, characterized by inadequate suppression of insulin secretion despite severe recurrent fasting hypoglycemia. Subtotal pancreatectomy is frequently required to prevent permanent neurologic sequelae. The incidence of HI in the Caucasian population is estimated at 1:50,000, however an apparent increased incidence among Ashkenazi Jews and Saudi Arabian Arabs has been reported. A locus for HI was assigned by linkage analyses to human chromosome 11p15.1. The sulfonylurea receptor (MIM# 600509, SUR1) and the potassium channel, inwardly rectifying, subfamily J member 11 (MIM# 600937, KIR6.2) genes, 2 components of the beta-cell K(ATP) channel, are clustered in this chromosomal region, and mutations in these genes have been implicated in HI. We previously demonstrated that two mutations in the SUR1 gene are present on approximately 88% of HI-associated chromosomes in Ashkenazi Jewish patients. Haplotype analysis with microsatellite markers flanking the gene revealed that one mutation (delF1388), reported only in Ashkenazi probands, occurred on two related extended haplotypes. By contrast, the second, more common mutation (3992-9g-->a) was associated with nine different intergenic haplotypes and has been reported in non-Jewish HI patients as well. In this study, we evaluated disease-associated chromosomes from 41 Ashkenazi Jewish and 2 non-Jewish HI patients carrying the 3992-9g-->a mutation by assessing haplotypes defined by nine common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), six in the SUR1 gene, and three in the KIR6.2 gene. Our results indicate that all 54 chromosomes carrying the 3992-9g-->a mutation in the Jewish patients appear to have originated from one founder mutation, whereas the same mutation on chromosomes from non-Jewish patients originated independently. Furthermore, our findings have implications concerning the HI-associated chromosomes on which no mutation has been identified.