Health Issues – Children

There is little research into the incidence of health issues which affect KS children. These are the most commonly reported.

Diabetes - type 1 and 2
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The incidence of diabetes type 1 and 2 associated with KS is significantly higher than in the general population although the reason for this isn’t fully understood.

To minimise the risk of type 2 diabetes it is  particularly important that a healthy diet is maintained. Regular exercise is also likely to help

Autoimmune diseases
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Although most autoimmune diseases predominately affect women, those with KS appear to have an increased risk compared to XY males.

A study of patients with lupus indicated that  KS children have the same risk as  females.

It is thought that this increased risk may be  related to the extra chromosomes.

Other autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS).

Dental problems
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Taurodontism is rare condition which appears to be more prevalent in those with KS. Taurodontism mainly affects the development of the molar teeth in such a way that the body of the tooth is enlarged. As it may not show up in an examination without an x-ray, you should  tell your child’s dentist about KS.

Oral hygiene is particularly important.

Lung disease
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It has been reported that there is an increased incidence of conditions such as bronchitis.

Bone health
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There is an increased risk of oseoporosis associated with KS but the reasons are not fully understood. Certainly low bone density is associated with low testosterone levels – and oestrogen levels. Low testosterone also adversely affects the production of vitamin D in the body – and vitamin D is essential for bone health.

However some studies have shown that reduced bone density also occurs in KS adults who have testosterone levels in the normal range.

There is some research which suggests that low bone density might also be an effect of the extra chromosome and that this might explain why testosterone replacement therapy is often not effective in improving bone density in KS.

Children should be encouraged to get as much sun as possible on their bodies to promote the levels of vitamin D which is essential for bone health. A calcium rich diet and load-bearing exercise such as walking, football, dancing will help to build up good bone density.

Next… Gynaecomastia