International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 413–418 | Cite as

The familiality of pelvic organ prolapse in the Utah Population Database

  • Peggy A. Norton
  • Kristina Allen-Brady
  • Lisa A. Cannon-Albright
Original Article


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.


Familiality Pelvic organ prolapse Family history Genetics Population database Genital prolapse 


Conflicts of interest

Supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development R01 HD41163 (PAN) and RO1 HD061821 (LCA and PAN).


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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peggy A. Norton
    • 1
    • 4
  • Kristina Allen-Brady
    • 2
  • Lisa A. Cannon-Albright
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic SurgeryUniversity of Utah Health Sciences CenterSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, Division of Genetic EpidemiologyUniversity of Utah Health Sciences CenterSalt Lake CityUSA
  3. 3.George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical CenterSalt Lake CityUSA
  4. 4.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUSA

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