Context: Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a complex hypothalamic disorder, combining hyperphagia, hypotonia, intellectual disability, and pituitary hormone deficiencies. Annual mortality of patients with PWS is high (3%). In half of the patients, the cause of death is obesity related and/or of cardiopulmonary origin. Health problems leading to this increased mortality often remain undetected due to the complexity and rareness of the syndrome. Objective: To assess the prevalence of health problems in adults with PWS retrospectively. Patients, Design, and Setting: We systematically screened 115 PWS adults for undiagnosed health problems. All patients visited the multidisciplinary outpatient clinic for rare endocrine syndromes at the Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands. We collected the results of medical questionnaires, interviews, physical xaminations, biochemical measurements, polygraphy, polysomnography, and radiology. Main outcome measures: Presence or absence of endocrine and nonendocrine comorbidities in relation to living situation, body mass index, genotype, and demographic factors. Results: Seventy patients (61%) had undiagnosed health problems, while 1 in every 4 patients had multiple undiagnosed health problems simultaneously. All males and 93% of females had hypogonadism, 74% had scoliosis, 18% had hypertension, 19% had hypercholesterolemia, 17% had type 2 diabetes mellitus, and 17% had hypothyroidism. Unfavorable lifestyles were common: 22% exercised too little (according to PWS criteria) and 37% did not see a dietitian. Conclusions: Systematic screening revealed many undiagnosed health problems in PWS adults. Based on patient characteristics, we provide an algorithm for diagnostics and treatment, with the aim to prevent early complications and reduce mortality in this vulnerable patient group.

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Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Department of Neuroscience

Pellikaan, K., Rosenberg, A.G.W., Kattentidt Mouravieva, A.A, Kersseboom, R., Bos-Roubos, A.G., Veen-Roelofs, J.M.C., … de Graaff, L.C.G. (2020). Missed diagnoses and health problems in adults with prader-willi syndrome: Recommendations for screening and treatment. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 105(12). doi:10.1210/clinem/dgaa621