A condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), which affects up to 2% of pregnant women, causes nausea and vomiting so severe that it can lead to starvation, nutrient deficiency and problems with fetal development. HG has long been poorly understood and often treated inadequately, putting women with the condition at an increased risk of severe malnutrition, suicidal ideation and even death.

Now, a new study from the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the Hyperemesis Education and Research Foundation has found that mutations or variants in the GDF15 gene are linked to HG. The results expand on earlier research linking the GDF15 gene to HG and may provide tools for predicting, preventing and diagnosing the condition.

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