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Stress Urinary Incontinence Related to Genes

Posted Apr 27 2009 10:12pm

A study published this week in the American Journal of Human Genetics links pelvic floor disorders such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence to a certain region of the human genome.

The study was conducted by the University Of Utah School Of Medicine, study lead author Kristina Allen-Brady, Ph.D., and colleagues analyzed the DNA of 70 women from 32 different families with at least two cases of pelvic floor disorders and found significant evidence for a gene that predisposes to PFD on chromosome 9.

For a better understanding, the pelvic floor consists of the network of muscles, ligaments and connective tissues that keeps all pelvic organs in place. Pelvic floor disorders occur when these muscles and tissues are damaged or injured.

PFDs (Pelvic floor disorders ) are commonly related to numerous risk factors such as childbirth, advanced age, obesity but they don’t fully explain the development of these disorders.

This study researched the DNA from 70 women who received some kind of treatment, in most cases surgery, for pelvic organ prolapse. Genetic analysis of this DNA showed significant evidence that genes located in a region of the genome called chromosome 9 may be inherited together in related women who have POP.

Lead researcher Kristina Allen-Brady, Ph.D. said:

“This is the largest collection of families with POP that has been reported to date. Although it is premature to suggest that all PFDs have a common genetic predisposition, our study shows significant evidence that the chromosome 9q21 region may be linked to the development of PFD in families where multiple women are affected.”

The second phase of the study in progress and researchers are collecting DNA from other families to strengthen their conclusions.

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