Blackwell Scientific on behalf of the Royal Society for Mentally Handicapped Children and Adults
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research vol:52 issue:Pt 5 pages:426-36
Introduction The present study reports cross-cultural comparisons of body mass index (BMI) and growth in Prader-Willi syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with obesity, growth restriction and mild learning disability. Our objectives were to: (1) compare rates of obesity in adults with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) in France, with data available from Belgium, the UK and the USA; (2) compare growth of French children with PWS with their counterparts in Germany and the USA; and (3) evaluate the contribution of genetic, medical and social parameters to obesity outcome in French children and adults with PWS. Method (1) Cross-sectional comparison of BMI of 40 French adults, 38 Belgian adults, 46 British adults and 292 North American adults; (2) Construction of growth curves for French children aged 2-20 years from longitudinal data for 150 individuals with PWS, and comparison with published growth curves from Germany and the USA; and (3) Longitudinal regression analysis of 141 French children and adults to determine the factors contributing to obesity outcome. Results A total of 82.5% French adults with PWS have BMI > 30 compared with 65.8% in Belgium (n.s.), 58.2% in the USA (P < 0.005), and 54.3% in the UK (P < 0.01). Higher rates of obesity in females vs. males were found in the USA sample (P < 0.001) but not in the other samples. In contrast to adults, growth curves for French children with PWS show similar rates of growth compared with children with PWS in Germany and the USA. The principal determining factors of BMI status in the French PWS population are age (P < 0.0001), cohort (born within the last 15 years vs. born over 15 years ago, P < 0.0002) and growth hormone replacement therapy (P < 0.0002). Significant subsidiary effects include domestic situation (P < 0.0001), genetic diagnosis (P < 0.0001) and age of diagnosis (P < 0.0001). Conclusions French adults with PWS have significantly higher rates of obesity than adults in the UK and the USA, but growth in French children with PWS is similar to the USA and Germany. Clinical management has a greater impact on obesity outcome in PWS than cultural factors.