Possible Genetic Link to Pelvic Floor Disorders
June 18th 2009
Researchers have discovered a possible genetic link to the development of pelvic floor disorders such as urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
Researchers at the University of Utah have discovered a possible genetic link to the development of pelvic floor disorders such as urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, according to several reports.
University of Utah researchers analyzed the DNA of 70 women from 32 families with at least two cases of pelvic floor disorders and identified evidence for a gene that may contribute to PFD.
"PFDs are a major public health concern for women of all ages," said Allen-Brady, lead author of the study, according to Law & Health Weekly. "Previous research has found that women with urinary incontinence are more likely to have family members with incontinence, but the genetic factors that predispose to PFD are not well understood."
Roughly one third of U.S. women suffer from some sort of PFD during her lifetime, according to the report.
The pelvic floor is a system of muscle fibers, ligaments and connective tissues that keeps a woman’s pelvic organs in place.
Childbirth, ageing and obesity are common factors that weaken the pelvic floor muscles and tissues, leading to PFD.
"This is the largest collection of families with POP that has been reported to date," said Allen-Brady, according to Disease Risk Factor Week. "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 researchers are collecting DNA from other families with high risk PFD to bolster their conclusions.