No increased risk of psychological/behavioral disorders in siblings of women with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) unless their mother had HG

P M Mullin, A Bray, V Vu, F Schoenberg-Paik, K MacGibbon, R Romero, T M Goodwin, M S Fejzo
Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease 2012, 3 (5): 375-9
Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), severe nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, is characterized by prolonged maternal stress, undernutrition and dehydration. Maternal stress and malnutrition of pregnancy are linked to poor neonatal outcome and associated with poor adult health, and we recently showed that in utero exposure to HG may lead to increased risks of psychological and behavioral disorders in the offspring. In addition, we have shown familial aggregation of HG, which is strong evidence for a genetic component to the disease. In this study, we compare the rates of psychological and behavioral disorders in 172 adults with and 101 adults without a sibling with HG. The rate of emotional/behavioral disorders is identical (15%) in both groups. The results suggest that the etiology of HG is not likely to include genetic factors associated with emotional and behavioral disorders. In addition, this study provides evidence that the increased incidence of psychological/behavioral disorders among offspring of women with HG is attributable to the HG pregnancy itself, rather than to confounding genetic factors linked to HG.

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