Is Hyperhidrosis Inherited ?


Patients often ask if hyperhidrosis is inherited because they note that other family members have excessive sweating.

Research published in Clin Auton Res 13(2), pages 96-98 seems to indicate that primary hyperhidrosis has an autosomal mode of inheritance.

According to the NIH, autosomal dominant gene inheritance means that you only need to get the abnormal gene from one parent in order for you to inherit the disease. One of the parents may often have the disease.

The study, published in April 2003 by Kaufmann and colleagues from the Department of Neurology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA, suggests that primary hyperhidrosis is an autosomal disorder with incomplete penetrance.

They studied the inheritance of this disorder since their study reiterated that a large percent (62%) of patients with primary hyperhidrosis indicated that they had a family history of hyperhidrosis. Examination of these pedigrees demonstrated a sibling recurrence risk and an offspring recurrence risk indicating that hyperhidrosis can be an inherited condition.

Penetrance defines the degree in which the gene is expressed. For example, the offspring of a parent with severe hyperhidrosis who has a mild form of hyperhidrosis has incomplete penetrance of the purported dominant gene for hyperhidrosis. That is, the offspring would have had complete penetrance of this dominant trait if he or she also had severe hyperhidrosis. Since the offspring has a partial trait, a mild form of hyperhidrosis, then the dominant gene is passed on to the offspring in an incomplete form, i.e. incomplete penetrance. 

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Article by
Buffalo Phlebologist