Other Names for this Disease
- Hemolysis, Elevated Liver Enzymes, Lowered Platelets
Your QuestionMy mother had HELLP syndrome. Is this condition genetic? Am I at high risk of getting HELLP syndrome when I get pregnant?
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Questions on this page
Doctors are still unclear on what exactly causes HELLP syndrome. Although it is more common in women who have preeclampsia or pregnancy induced hypertension (high blood pressure), there are still a number of women who get it without previously showing signs of preeclampsia.
The following is a list of factors that are believed to increase the risk of a woman developing HELLP syndrome:
- Previous pregnancy with HELLP Syndrome (19-27% chance of recurrence in each pregnancy)
- Preeclampsia or pregnancy induced hypertension
- Women over the age of 25
- Being caucasian
- Multiparous (given birth two or more times)
The following online resources can help you find a genetics professional in your community:
- GeneTests offers a searchable directory of U.S. and international genetics and prenatal diagnosis clinics.
- The National Society of Genetic Counselors provides a database of genetics counseling services, searchable by location, name, institution, type of practice, or specialty.
- The University of Kansas Medical Center provides a list of links to genetic centers and clinics, associations, and university genetics departments.
- The American College of Medical Genetics has a Genetics Clinics Database for individuals who wish to locate a U.S. genetics center.
- The American Society of Human Genetics is a professional organization of researchers and clinical geneticists. The ASHG maintains a database of its members, some of whom live outside of the United States. Visit the ASHG site if you are interested in obtaining a list of the geneticists in your country, though some may be researchers only and may not offer medical care.
- HELLP Syndrome. FamilyDoctor.org. April 2004; http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/hellp-syndrome.printerview.all.html. Accessed 9/19/2014.
- Storck S. HELLP syndrome. MedlinePlus. November 8, 2012; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000890.htm. Accessed 9/18/2014.
- HELLP Syndrome. American Pregnancy Association. 2009; http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/hellpsyndrome.html. Accessed 1/27/2010.
- Oudejans CB, van Dijk M. Placenta. 2008; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17959244.
- Preeclampsia/Eclampsia. Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM). 2009; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/dispomim.cgi?id=189800. Accessed 1/27/2010.