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      Mistaken gender identity in non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia

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          Gender identity is the sense of belonging that one feels for a particular sex psychologically and socially, independent of one's biological sex. There is much less systematic data on gender identity in females with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). We report a case of non-classical CAH presenting as a case of gender identity disorder.

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          Gender dysphoria and gender change in chromosomal females with congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

          This article reviews the literature on studies and case reports on gender identity and gender identity problems, gender dysphoria, and gender change in chromosomal females with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, raised male or female. The large majority (94.8%) of the patients raised female (N= 250) later developed a gender identity as girls and women and did not feel gender dysphoric. But 13 (5.2%) patients had serious problems with their gender identity. This percentage is higher than the prevalence of female-to-male transsexuals in the general population of chromosomal females. Among patients raised male, serious gender identity problems were reported in 4 (12.1%) out of 33 patients. From these observations, we conclude that the assignment to the female gender as a general policy for 46,XX patients with CAH appears justified, even in severely masculinized 46,XX newborns with CAH (Prader stage IV or V).
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            Gender role behavior, sexuality, and psychosocial adaptation in women with congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to CYP21A2 deficiency.

            Gender-atypical behavior has been described in young girls as well as in women with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) due to a CYP21A2 deficiency. The aim of the study was to assess health-related, psychosexual, and psychosocial parameters and correlate the results to CYP21A2 genotype. Sixty-two Swedish women with CAH and age-matched controls completed a 120-item questionnaire and a validated quality of life instrument [psychological general well-being (PGWB) formula] to identify psychosexual and psychosocial parameters. The patients were divided into four CYP21A2 genotype groups. The women with CAH held more male-dominant occupations (30%) compared to controls (13%) (P = 0.04), especially those in the null genotype group (55%) (P = 0.006). They also reported a greater interest in rough sports (74%) compared to controls (50%) (P = 0.007). Eight women with CAH (14%) reported a prime interest in motor vehicles, compared to none of the controls (P = 0.002). Non-heterosexual orientation was reported by 19% of women with CAH (P = 0.005), 50% in the null genotype group (P = 0.0001), 30% in I2 splice (NS), and 5% in I172N (NS). PGWB total score did not differ between patients and controls. We identified increased gender-atypical behavior in women with CAH that could be correlated to the CYP21A2 genotype. This speaks in favor of dose-dependent effects of prenatal androgens on the development of higher brain functions. The impact of the disease on upbringing and interpersonal relationships did not correlate with disease severity, indicating that other factors, such as coping strategies, are important for psychosocial adaptation. This illustrates the need for psychological support to parents and patients.
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              High frequency of nonclassical steroid 21-hydroxylase deficiency.

              Nonclassical steroid 21-hydroxylase deficiency is an autosomal recessive disorder that is defined by clinical and hormonal criteria that distinguishes it from the classical 21-hydroxylase deficiency. No estimates of the gene frequency of nonclassical 21-hydroxylase deficiency, also called attenuated, late-onset, acquired, and cryptic adrenal hyperplasia, have been published thus far. Here, we have used HLA-B genotype data in families containing multiple members affected with nonclassical 21-hydroxylase deficiency together with the results of quantitative hormonal tests to arrive at estimates of gene and disease frequencies for this disorder. We found nonclassical 21-hydroxylase deficiency to be a far more common disorder than classical 21-hydroxylase deficiency, which occurs in 1/8,000 births. The prevalence of the disease in Ashkenazi Jews was 3.7%; in Hispanics, 1.9%; in Yugoslavs, 1.6%; in Italians, 0.3%; and in the diverse Caucasian population, 0.1%. The gene for nonclassical 21-hydroxylase deficiency is in genetic linkage disequilibrium with HLA-B14 in Ashkenazi Jews, Hispanics, and Italians, but not in Yugoslavs or in a diverse, non-Jewish, Caucasian group. The penetrance of nonclassical 21-hydroxylase deficiency gene in the HLA-B14 containing haplotypes was incomplete. Thus, nonclassical 21-hydroxylase deficiency is probably the most frequent autosomal recessive genetic disorder in man and is especially frequent in Ashkenazi Jews, Hispanics, Italians, and Yugoslavs.

                Author and article information

                Indian J Psychiatry
                Indian J Psychiatry
                Indian Journal of Psychiatry
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                Apr-Jun 2014
                : 56
                : 2
                : 182-184
                Department of Psychiatry, GB Pant Hospital, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Dr. Prerna Kukreti, Department of Psychiatry, GB Pant Hospital, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi - 110 002, India. E-mail: kukreti_prerna@ 123456yahoo.co.in
                Copyright: © Indian Journal of Psychiatry

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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