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Woman's Risk of Hyperemesis Up if Mother Had Condition

Women whose mothers experienced hyperemesis in pregnancy have three-fold increased risk

FRIDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Daughters of mothers who had hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy are at three times the risk of suffering from this condition themselves compared with daughters of women who did not have the condition, according to research published online April 29 in BMJ.

Åse Vikanes, of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, and colleagues conducted a population based cohort study of 544,087 mother and childbearing daughter units and 399,777 mother and child-producing son units using 1967 to 2006 data from a Norwegian birth registry. The main outcome measure was hyperemesis gravidarum occurrence in childbearing daughters and in female partners of child-producing sons of mothers who had the condition during pregnancy.

The researchers found that daughters born after a pregnancy complicated by hyperemesis gravidarum had a 3 percent risk of having the condition themselves compared to the 1.1 percent risk in daughters of mothers whose pregnancy was not complicated by the condition (unadjusted odds ratio, 2.9). Daughters born to mothers who did not have hyperemesis during that pregnancy were also at an elevated risk of having the condition themselves if their mother had hyperemesis during a prior or subsequent pregnancy (odds ratios, 3.2 and 3.7, respectively). Female partners of sons who were born after pregnancies complicated by the condition did not have an increased risk of the condition.

"This study provides a new perspective on the causation of hyperemesis. It might lead to a better appreciation of the underlying biology and should stimulate research into the genetic aetiology. This, as well as an understanding of the psychological consequences of experiencing severe nausea and vomiting, could be helpful for clinicians who treat and counsel women with hyperemesis gravidarum," the authors conclude.

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