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Int Urogynecol J. 2013 Mar;24(3):413-8. doi: 10.1007/s00192-012-1866-0. Epub 2012 Aug 14.

The familiality of pelvic organ prolapse in the Utah Population Database.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA.



Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) in women is a common condition whose etiology is poorly understood. There is increasing evidence that POP is heritable. The aim of our study was to define and evaluate familial clustering of POP.


Using a population-based Utah genealogy linked to more than a decade of hospital data, we calculated relative risks (RR) of POP in female relatives of women with POP using age- and birth year-specific rates of POP. We compared the average pairwise relatedness of all POP cases to the population using a measure of genetic distance.


We identified 1,292 women with diagnostic and procedure codes for POP. The RR of POP was significantly elevated in first- and third-degree female relatives (RR 4.15, p < 0.001; RR 1.24, p = 0.05). The average pairwise relatedness for all individuals with POP was significantly higher than expected (p < 0.001).


These results strongly support a significant heritable contribution to POP.

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