OPEN Nature communications | 23 Mar 2018
MS Fejzo, OV Sazonova, JF Sathirapongsasuti, IB Hallgrímsdóttir, V Vacic, KW MacGibbon, FP Schoenberg, N Mancuso, DJ Slamon and PM Mullin
Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), severe nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, occurs in 0.3-2% of pregnancies and is associated with maternal and fetal morbidity. The cause of HG remains unknown, but familial aggregation and results of twin studies suggest that understanding the genetic contribution is essential for comprehending the disease etiology. Here, we conduct a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for binary (HG) and ordinal (severity of nausea and vomiting) phenotypes of pregnancy complications. Two loci, chr19p13.11 and chr4q12, are genome-wide significant (p < 5 × 10-8) in both association scans and are replicated in an independent cohort. The genes implicated at these two loci are GDF15 and IGFBP7 respectively, both known to be involved in placentation, appetite, and cachexia. While proving the casual roles of GDF15 and IGFBP7 in nausea and vomiting of pregnancy requires further study, this GWAS provides insights into the genetic risk factors contributing to the disease.
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