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Medical Problems of Klinefelter Syndrome

There are certain medical problems that men with Klinefelter syndrome need to be aware of. These problems include male breast cancer, osteoporosis, and autoimmune diseases. Men with the condition are at a greater risk of developing these medical problems of Klinefelter syndrome, so regular self-examinations and visits to the doctor are crucial.

Medical Problems of Klinefelter Syndrome: An Overview

Men with Klinefelter syndrome are at increased risk for certain medical problems. These medical problems include:
Autoimmune Disease
Compared with other males, males with Klinefelter syndrome have a slightly increased risk of developing an autoimmune disease. In this group of diseases, the immune system, for unknown reasons, attacks the body's organs or tissues. The best known of these conditions are:
  • Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis
  • Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE).
Most of these conditions can be treated with medication.
(Click Autoimmune Diseases for information on other types of autoimmune diseases.)
Breast Cancer
Males with Klinefelter syndrome and enlarged breasts have the same risk of breast cancer as women, and roughly 50 times the risk of males with the usual chomosomal arrangement, XY. For this reason, adolescents and adults with Klinefelter syndrome need to practice regular breast self-exams.
The breast self-examination technique for men with Klinefelter syndrome is the same as for women. XXY males may also wish to consult their physicians about the need for more thorough breast examinations by medical professionals.
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