Objective: Very little is known about the mental health status in children with genetic causes of hyperandrogenism. This study sought to characterize psychiatric morbidity in this group. Design/methods: Children (8-18 years) with the diagnosis of classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) or familial male precocious puberty (FMPP) underwent a semi-structured psychiatric interview, the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-Present and Lifetime Version. According to sex and the literature, incidence of identified psychopathology was compared between the two endocrinological groups. We evaluated 72 patients: 54 CAH (21 females) and 18 FMPP. Results: Twenty-four (44.4%) CAH patients and 10 (55.6%) FMPP patients met the criteria for at least one lifetime psychiatric diagnosis. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was present in 18.2% of CAH males, 44.4% of FMPP males, and one case (4.8%) in CAH females. A high rate of anxiety disorders was also found in all the three groups (17-21%). Relative to females with CAH, the FMPP patients exhibited higher rates of ADHD. Age at diagnosis and the treatment modalities were not associated with psychopathology. Rates of psychiatric disorder, specifically ADHD and anxiety disorders, were higher than in the general population. Conclusion: Although anxiety disorders may occur at an increased rate in children with chronic illness, androgens may contribute to higher risk for psychopathology in pediatric patients with genetic cause of excess androgen. Early diagnosis and treatment of childhood hyperandrogenism is essential for optimal development. The results suggest that assessment for psychiatric disorders should be part of the routine evaluation of these patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism