Prader-Willi syndrome, which occurs in about one in every 15,000 to 25,000 live births, is the most common genetic disorder that can lead to life-threatening obesity in children. Boys and girls are equally affected.1
Scientists do not know what increases the risk for Prader-Willi syndrome. The genetic error that leads to Prader-Willi syndrome occurs at random, usually around the time of conception or during early fetal development. The syndrome is usually not hereditary.2
Genetic testing can identify the chance that a second sibling will develop Prader-Willi syndrome, a possibility that is usually less than 1%.
- Scheimann, A. (2011, June 8). Prader-Willi Syndrome. Medscape Reference. Retrieved July 17, 2012, from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/947954-overview#a0199 [top]
- McCandless, S. E.; Committee on Genetics. (2010). Clinical report-health supervision for children with Prader-Willi syndrome. Pediatrics, 127, 195-204. [top]