, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 413-418
Date: 14 Aug 2012

The familiality of pelvic organ prolapse in the Utah Population Database

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Introduction and hypothesis

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.