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?
We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.
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)
Genetics clinics are a source of information for individuals and families regarding genetic conditions, treatment, inheritance, and genetic risks to other family members. More information about genetic consultations is available from Genetics Home Reference. To find a genetics clinic, we recommend that you contact your primary healthcare provider for a referral.
The following online resources can help you find a genetics professional in your community:
- GeneTests has a searchable directory of US and international genetics and prenatal diagnosis clinics.
- The National Society of Genetic Counselors provides a searchable directory of US and international genetic counseling services.
- The American College of Medical Genetics has a searchable database of US genetics clinics.
- The American Society of Human Genetics maintains a database of its members, which includes individuals who live outside of the United States. Visit the link to obtain a list of the geneticists in your country, some of whom may be researchers that do not provide medical care.
- HELLP Syndrome and Your Pregnancy. FamilyDoctor.org. 2009; http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/women/pregnancy/complications/456.html. Accessed 1/27/2010.
- Vorvick L, Storck S. HELLP syndrome. MedlinePlus. 2008; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000890.htm. Accessed 1/27/2010.
- 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.