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April 13, 1984

The Prader-Willi Syndrome

Author Affiliations

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Iowa City

JAMA. 1984;251(14):1835. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340380021014

To the Editor.—  Dr Wett's1 article in A PIECE OF MY MIND did it to my peace of mind. Delay of recognizing the Prader-Willi (PW) syndrome occurs ever so often. The average age when PW syndrome is diagnosed in boys is close to 10 years and older than 10 years in girls. Many cases remain undiagnosed, notably in girls. This may account for the unexplained and probably spurious sex difference: the ratio of PW syndrome boys to PW syndrome girls is ten to four. All this is in spite of the fact that close to 200 articles on PW syndrome have been published in the last 25 years. A recent monograph on PW syndrome lists more than 600 cases collected from the world literature.2 An additional 137 cases have been collected in Japan.3 Thus, the condition is not at all rare and there is no reason to