Evidence of an increased risk of hearing loss in heterozygous carriers in a Wolfram syndrome family

Hum Genet. 1998 Oct;103(4):470-4. doi: 10.1007/s004390050852.


Wolfram syndrome (MIM 222300) is characterized by juvenile-onset diabetes mellitus and optic atrophy. Previous linkage analyses in the United States and UK families have indicated that the gene for Wolfram syndrome (WFS) is localized on the short arm of chromosome 4. We herein confirm the linkage of the WFS locus to D4S3023 on 4p with a two-point LOD score of 3.42 in a large Japanese family with Wolfram syndrome. Multipoint linkage analysis revealed the maximum LOD score of 4.82 between D4S3023 and D4S394. We also evaluated putative health risks in carriers by multiple logistic analysis with independent variables, age, gender, and numbers of affected haplotypes and with dependent variables, such as hearing loss, diabetes mellitus, polyuria, incontinence, psychological illness, and visual acuity. The results showed that the putative disease haplotype increased a risk of hearing loss (odds ratio =35.68, 95% confidence interval =4.12-308.95) and diabetes mellitus (odds ratio =7.57, 95% confidence interval =2.03-28.23) independently. This is the first report of an increased health risk of illness in carriers, other than for psychiatric disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 4
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers
  • Haplotypes
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / etiology*
  • Heterozygote*
  • Humans
  • Lod Score
  • Male
  • Pedigree
  • Risk
  • Wolfram Syndrome / genetics*


  • Genetic Markers