Familial aggregation of hyperemesis gravidarum

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Mar;204(3):230.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2010.09.018. Epub 2010 Oct 25.


Objective: This study was undertaken to determine whether there is familial aggregation of hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), making it a disease amenable to genetic study.

Study design: Cases with severe nausea and vomiting in a singleton pregnancy treated with intravenous hydration and unaffected friend controls completed a survey regarding family history.

Results: Sisters of women with HG have a significantly increased risk of having HG themselves (odds ratio, 17.3; P = .005). Cases have a significantly increased risk of having a mother with severe nausea and vomiting; 33% of cases reported an affected mother compared to 7.7% of controls (P < .0001). Cases reported a similar frequency of affected second-degree maternal and paternal relatives (18% maternal lineage, 23% paternal lineage).

Conclusion: There is familial aggregation of HG. This study provides strong evidence for a genetic component to HG. Identification of the predisposing gene(s) may determine the cause of this poorly understood disease of pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Family
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum / etiology
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum / genetics*
  • Nausea
  • Pregnancy
  • Vomiting