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Little known pregnancy disease, Hyperemesis Gravidarum, receives awareness with a $20,000 donation from the H.E.R. Foundation to begin Genome Research at UCLA

LEESBURG, Va., July 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The HER Foundation (Hyperemesis Education & Research), the voice of HG, presented $20,000 to UCLA's medical research department and the Hyperemesis Gravidarum Genome Project. Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is a debilitating and potentially life-threatening pregnancy disease marked by rapid weight loss, malnutrition, and dehydration due to unrelenting nausea and/or vomiting with potential adverse consequences for the newborn(s). HG is the second leading cause of hospitalization during pregnancy, yet few dollars are granted for research.

The research, conducted by lead researcher Dr. Marlena Fejzo, will focus on identifying the gene associated with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), and how the effects of this disease, brought on by pregnancy, affect the mother and child.  Dr. Fejzo states, "The latest award of $20,000 from the HER Foundation will enable us to use an exciting novel technology to identify the gene(s) and corresponding biological pathways related to HG in HG-families." 

Kimber MacGibbon, co-founder of the HER Foundation says, "We are very excited to support this important genetic study that will give us greater understanding of Hyperemesis Gravidarum, as well as the opportunity to identify mothers at risk for HG so they can receive proactive care. Ultimately, this study will improve the care of those with HG and disprove the erroneous beliefs about the cause of HG."

The national cost of treating HG in the inpatient setting increased 50% from $167 million in 2000 to $250 million in 2009. Recent studies show HG is associated with low birth weight, intrauterine growth restriction, preterm delivery, and fetal and neonatal death.  Elective pregnancy termination in a large cohort of women with Hyperemesis Gravidarum have also been shown in recent studies. Recurrence rates are greatly underestimated because HG is often not diagnosed, not properly recorded, and/or not treated by hospital visits.

Dr. Fejzo added, "This is a very exciting time in the world of HG research, as I truly believe we are on the verge of discovering once and for all, the cause of this devastating pregnancy disease, that will bring us one step closer to a cure." Ann Marie King, co-founder of the HER Foundation said, "HG turns a woman's dream of a healthy pregnancy into a nightmare and women around the globe are begging for more research on the disease. We hear from women around the world looking for help and understanding, we are hoping this is the first step to getting answers for so many women who simply want to bring a child into the world."

The HER Foundation is the world's leading non-profit organization dedicated to the education, research and awareness of Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Just in the past two years the HER Foundation has donated a total of $45,000 to HG research at both USC and UCLA.  This research has aided medical professionals to prove that HG is a genetic condition. To learn more about Hyperemesis Gravadarum and The HER Foundation, visit or


Media contacts:

Ann Marie King - HER Foundation



Enrique Rivero – UCLA Media Relations

(310) 794-2273 (310) 794-0777

Media Contact: Ann Marie King The HER Foundation, 7033991272, News distributed by PR Newswire iReach:

SOURCE The HER Foundation
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