Prenatal and postnatal prevalence of Klinefelter syndrome: a national registry study

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Feb;88(2):622-6. doi: 10.1210/jc.2002-021491.


The objective of this study was to describe the prevalence of Klinefelter syndrome (KS) prenatally and postnatally in Denmark and determine the influence of maternal age. All chromosomal examinations in Denmark are registered in the Danish Cytogenetic Central Registry. Individuals with KS diagnosed prenatally or postnatally were extracted from the registry with information about age at the time of diagnosis and mother's age. In the period 1970-2000, 76,526 prenatal examinations on male fetuses resulted in the diagnosis of 163 fetuses with KS karyotype, corresponding to a prevalence of 213 per 100,000 male fetuses. Standardization according to maternal age resulted in a prevalence of 153 per 100,000 males. Postnatally, 696 males of 2,480,858 live born were diagnosed with KS, corresponding to a prevalence among adult men of approximately 40 per 100,000. Less than 10% of the expected number was diagnosed before puberty. Advanced maternal age had a significant impact on the prevalence. KS is severely underdiagnosed in Denmark. Only approximately one fourth of adult males with KS are diagnosed. There is a marked delay in diagnosis of the syndrome. A delay in treatment with testosterone may lead to decreased muscle and bone mass with subsequent risk of osteoporosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Klinefelter Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Klinefelter Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Maternal Age
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Prevalence
  • Registries