Psychiatric factors do not affect recurrence risk of hyperemesis gravidarum

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The aim of this study is to determine whether psychiatric symptoms affect recurrence risk of hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).


The study sample included 108 women with HG treated with i.v. fluids in their first pregnancy. Women were divided into two groups based on recurrence of HG in their second pregnancy. Participants submitted medical records and completed a survey regarding pregnancy characteristics and psychiatric symptoms. The χ2-test and Student's t-test were performed to compare the two groups.


Eighty-four women (71%) had a recurrence of HG requiring i.v. fluid for dehydration, and were compared with 34 women (29%) who did not have a recurrence. There were no significant differences in obstetric history, although there was a trend toward greater time between first and second pregnancy in the recurrence group (P = 0.08). There were no differences in pre-existing psychiatric diagnoses including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, panic or eating disorders. Following the first HG pregnancy, participants in both groups were well matched for all post-traumatic stress symptoms.


This study is the first to analyze the relationship of psychiatric factors to risk of recurrence of HG. No factors were identified that increase the risk of recurrence including stress symptoms following a HG pregnancy. Psychological sequelae associated with HG are probably a result of the physical symptoms of prolonged severe nausea and vomiting, medication and/or hospitalization, and likely play no role in disease etiology.

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