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Open Access Open Badges Clinical Study

Normal Intelligence in Female and Male Patients with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

Sheri A Berenbaum1*, Kristina Korman Bryk2 and Stephen C Duck3

Author Affiliations

1 Departments of Psychology and Pediatrics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16803, USA

2 Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16803, USA

3 Department of Pediatrics, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, and Pediatric Endocrinology, North Shore University Health Services, 9977 Woods Drive, Skokie, IL 60077, USA

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International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology 2010, 2010:853103  doi:10.1155/2010/853103

Published: 19 August 2010


We provide evidence regarding the nature, causes, and consequences of intelligence in patients with 21-hydroxylase deficient congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). Intelligence and quality of life (psychological adjustment) were measured on multiple occasions from childhood to young adulthood in 104 patients with CAH (62 females, 42 males) and 88 unaffected relatives (31 females, 57 males). Information on disease severity (CAH type, age at diagnosis, genital virilization for girls) and salt-wasting crises was obtained from medical records. There was no evidence of intellectual deficit in either female or male patients with CAH. Intelligence was not significantly associated with psychological adjustment or disease characteristics. CAH itself does not appear to increase risk for poor intellectual function. In a sample of patients with generally good disease control, intelligence is not related to adjustment problems, disease severity, or salt-wasting crises.