Decreased fecundability in Hutterite couples sharing HLA-DR

Am J Hum Genet. 1992 Jan;50(1):6-14.


To study the effects of parental HLA sharing on pregnancy outcome, we initiated population-based studies in the Hutterites. We previously reported longer intervals from marriage to each birth among couples sharing HLA, particularly HLA-DR. In the present report, we present the results of a prospective, 5-year study of fecundability and fetal loss rates in this population. Between April 1986 and April 1991, 154 pregnancies were observed in 104 couples. The median number of months of unprotected intercourse to a positive pregnancy test was significantly longer among couples sharing HLA-DR who stopped nursing prior to the first menses as compared with couples not sharing HLA-DR who stopped nursing prior to the first menses (5.1 vs. 2.0 mo, respectively; P = .016). Fetal loss rates were increased among couples sharing HLA-B as compared with couples not sharing HLA-B (.23 vs. .12, respectively; P = .041, adjusted for age, gravidity, and kinship). These data suggest that our earlier observations of increased birth interval lengths among Hutterite couples sharing HLA were predominantly due to longer intervals until a clinical pregnancy among couples sharing HLA-DR and, to a lesser degree, were due to increased fetal loss rates among couples sharing HLA-B.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous
  • Adult
  • Christianity
  • Female
  • Fertility / genetics*
  • HLA-DR Antigens / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors


  • HLA-DR Antigens