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Early Diagnosis in Prader-Willi Syndrome Reduces Obesity and Associated Co-Morbidities.

  • Author(s): Kimonis, Virginia E;
  • Tamura, Roy;
  • Gold, June-Anne;
  • Patel, Nidhi;
  • Surampalli, Abhilasha;
  • Manazir, Javeria;
  • Miller, Jennifer L;
  • Roof, Elizabeth;
  • Dykens, Elisabeth;
  • Butler, Merlin G;
  • Driscoll, Daniel J
  • et al.

Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is an imprinting genetic disorder characterized by lack of expression of genes on the paternal chromosome 15q11-q13 region. Growth hormone (GH) replacement positively influences stature and body composition in PWS. Our hypothesis was that early diagnosis delays onset of obesity in PWS. We studied 352 subjects with PWS, recruited from the NIH Rare Disease Clinical Research Network, to determine if age at diagnosis, ethnicity, gender, and PWS molecular class influenced the age they first become heavy, as determined by their primary care providers, and the age they first developed an increased appetite and began seeking food. The median ages that children with PWS became heavy were 10 years, 6 years and 4 years for age at diagnosis < 1 year, between 1 and 3 years, and greater than 3 years of age, respectively. The age of diagnosis and ethnicity were significant factors influencing when PWS children first became heavy (p < 0.01), however gender and the PWS molecular class had no influence. Early diagnosis delayed the onset of becoming heavy in individuals with PWS, permitting early GH and other treatment, thus reducing the risk of obesity-associated co-morbidities. Non-white individuals had an earlier onset of becoming heavy.

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