We describe a family with an autosomal dominant, multisystem disorder, consisting of late-onset proximal muscular dystrophy, electrophysiological myotonia, cataracts, late-onset deafness and male hypogonadism. Four patients were available for clinical examinations. Examination of asymptomatic family members revealed another patient with bilateral cataracts but without definite muscle disorder. Five deceased members of the family had proximal muscle weakness, reportedly or confirmed in medical records. Molecular examination of genomic DNA showed no expansion of the unstable (CTG)n trinucleotide repeat on chromosome 19q13.3 associated with myotonic dystrophy (DM). Linkage to two loci implicated in other myotonic disorders, the muscle chloride channel (CLCN1) gene, and the muscle sodium channel (SCN4A) gene, was assessed and excluded. The clinical findings differ from those described in proximal myotonic myopathy (PROMM), in terms of the more severe muscle involvement with atrophy of affected muscles and the hearing loss. These findings suggest phenotypic and probably genetic heterogeneity among the proximal myotonic syndromes.