The primary goal of this study was to calculate the prevalence of the premutation of the FMR1 gene and of the "gray zone" using a population-based sample of older adults in Wisconsin (n = 6,747 samples screened). Compared with past research, prevalence was relatively high (1 in 151 females and 1 in 468 males for the premutation and 1 in 35 females and 1 in 42 males for the gray zone as defined by 45-54 CGG repeats). A secondary study goal was to describe characteristics of individuals found to have the premutation (n = 30, 7 males and 23 females). We found that premutation carriers had a significantly higher rate of divorce than controls, as well as higher rates of symptoms that might be indicative of fragile X-associated tremor ataxia syndrome (FXTAS; numbness, dizziness/faintness) and fragile X primary ovarian insufficiency (FXPOI; age at last menstrual period). Although not statistically significant, premutation carriers were twice as likely to have a child with disability.
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