A familial tendency for developing inguinal hernias: study of a single family

Hernia. 2010 Aug;14(4):431-4. doi: 10.1007/s10029-009-0554-6. Epub 2009 Aug 29.


Purpose: Inguinal hernias are the most common abdominal wall rupture, and the predisposing factors to hernia formation include a familial tendency, connective tissue and lung diseases, smoking and prostatism. The aim of this study is to discuss the familial tendency for hernia in 5 members of a family of 11 people. To our knowledge, no other large family with inguinal hernias has been reported in the English literature.

Methods: This study presents the surgical procedures and follow-up results of right inguinal hernias seen in 5 of 11 members from one family. Age, sex, body mass index (BMI), biochemical parameters, type of hernia and surgical procedure, and follow-up results were evaluated retrospectively.

Results: This study included five patients (three males, two females) presenting with right direct inguinal hernias. The initial symptoms began at an average age of 18.2 years (range 15-22), and the mean BMI of the patients was 20.6 kg/m(2) (range 19.3-22.1). Three underwent hernia repairs with polypropylene surgical mesh and two with polyglactin-polypropylene composite mesh (Vypro II). The patients' blood vitamin C levels were lower than those of the other family members, while their 24-h urinary hydroxyproline levels were higher. The patients were followed for an average of 16.4 months (range 3-33 months). No complications developed during follow-up.

Conclusion: The occurrence of the same type of hernia in more than one family member and the altered biochemical results indicate that the hernias may have resulted from a familial connective tissue disease. In patients with hernias, if a familial tendency is suspected, a detailed examination for connective tissue diseases may help to confirm the diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Disease Susceptibility*
  • Female
  • Hernia, Inguinal / etiology
  • Hernia, Inguinal / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Mesh
  • Young Adult