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November 10, 2010

Severe morning sickness may be genetic in nature

A new study suggests the nausea & vomit sensation that makes women throw up all the contents of the stomach during early pregnancy, may be genetic in nature. 

According to US researchers, morning sickness is a hereditary problem & is more likely to affect women whose mothers or sisters 've also endured the problem during pregnancy.

Lead author of the study, Marlena Fejzo, assistant professor of hematology–oncology at the University of Southern California-Los Angeles stated, "Pregnant women with a family history of extreme nausea in pregnancy should be aware that they may 've it too, & health care providers should take a family history of nausea in pregnancy at the first visit with an obstetrician. The high familial prevalence strongly suggests a genetic component to this condition.”

In order to determine whether a very severe form of nausea, known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) might 've a genetic element, the researchers surveyed 650 participants for a comparative study. They collected information from 207 women who experienced HG during pregnancy & were so sick that they required intravenous treatment. As a control, the investigators recruited 110 friends of the female patient's who had at least two relatively nausea free pregnancies lasting more than 27 weeks. 

Study Reveals..
A comparison of family histories revealed that nearly 14% of women who experienced HG during pregnancy had sisters who also gone through the debilitating condition as opposed to 1% of the control group. It was further observed that an inclusion of sisters who had undergone HG & exclusion of those with just severe morning sickness elevated the risk of the of study subjects also having the condition by 17.3%.

Additionally, the study found that 33% of the women who endured HG had a mother who had experienced severe nausea during her pregnancy compared with only 8% of the controls. When information relating to the grandmothers’ pregnancies was factored, it was noted that 18% of those with HG had a maternal grandmother with the condition while 23% had a paternal grandmother affected with severe morning sickness.
This provided a strong inkling that the condition is hereditary & was passed through parental genes.

The authors concluded, "Because the incidence of hyperemesis gravidarum is most commonly reported to be 0.5% in the population, & the sisters of cases 've as much as an 18-fold increased familial risk for HG compared to controls, this study provides strong evidence for a genetic component to extreme nausea & vomiting in pregnancy.” The findings were published online in the 'American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.'

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