Heterozygous fragile X female: historical, physical, cognitive, and cytogenetic features

Am J Med Genet. 1991 Feb-Mar;38(2-3):269-74. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.1320380221.


Historical, physical, cognitive, and cytogenetic data were documented in 105 heterozygous fragile X [fra(X)] females and 90 controls in a prospective fashion. For comparisons, we divided heterozygotes and controls into those with cognitive impairment (IQ less than 85) and normal IQ (IQ greater than or equal to 85). The only finding that was significantly more frequent in impaired heterozygotes compared with impaired controls chi 2 analysis was shyness. Features that were more frequent in normal IQ heterozygotes compared with normal controls were voluntary thumb dislocation and hyperextensible metacarpal-phalangeal (MP) joints. Comparisons among heterozygotes demonstrated more math problems, hand biting, strabismus, high-arched palate, hyperextensible finger joints, and flat feet in impaired heterozygotes than in normal heterozygotes. Premature menopause was present in 8 of 61 normal heterozygotes and in none of the impaired heterozygotes. A multiple regression analysis demonstrated a significant inverse correlation between the percent fragility and IQ for the heterozygotes as a group. However, no correlation existed between IQ and fragility when the percent fragility was 2% or greater. However, a higher percentage of fragility was positively correlated with the total number of physical findings present.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cognition Disorders / genetics
  • Dosage Compensation, Genetic
  • Female
  • Fragile X Syndrome / pathology*
  • Fragile X Syndrome / psychology
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / genetics
  • Male
  • Menopause, Premature / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Examination
  • Shyness
  • Strabismus / genetics