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What Is the Life Expectancy of a Person With Klinefelter Syndrome?

life expectancy of Klinefelter syndrome
Klinefelter syndrome (KS) can shorten life expectancy up to 2 years depending on whether complications associated with the condition develop

According to studies, Klinefelter syndrome (KS) can shorten life expectancy up to 2 years depending on whether complications associated with the condition develop. Early detection and treatment, including special educational interventions, may improve the outlook of this disease.

What is Klinefelter syndrome?

Klinefelter syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs when a boy is born with an extra copy of the X chromosome in his cells. Problems associated with KS include:

  • Smaller than normal testicles
  • Lower production of testosterone
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Reduced body and facial hair
  • Enlarged breast tissue
  • Delayed speech and language development

Although most men with KS produce little or no sperm, treatments such as assisted reproductive procedures may help some to father a child.

What causes Klinefelter syndrome?

Both males and females are born with 23 pairs of chromosomes inside each of their cells, including two sex chromosomes: X and Y.

  • Females are born with two X chromosomes (XX) that are responsible for female sexual traits (breasts and a uterus).
  • Males are born with one X and one Y chromosome (XY) that are responsible for male sexual traits (penis and testicles).

Boys with KS have an extra X chromosome (XXY), which can come from either the mother or father. Although maternal advanced age slightly increases the risk of KS, most cases of KS stem from random genetic mutations.

What are the symptoms of Klinefelter syndrome?

Signs and symptoms of Klinefelter syndrome vary significantly by age. Sometimes symptoms don’t appear until adulthood, and in some cases the syndrome may never be diagnosed.


Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Delay in speaking
  • Slow motor development such as delay in sitting up, crawling, and walking
  • Delay in speech
  • Undescended testicles during birth

Boys and teenagers

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Increased height
  • Absent or incomplete puberty
  • Longer legs and hands with a short torso
  • Broad hips
  • Less muscle and facial hair compared with those of other teens
  • Small penis
  • Small testicles
  • Gynecomastia (enlarged breast)
  • Weak bones
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty socializing
  • Reticent and shy nature
  • Difficulty reading, writing and spelling, or doing math


Signs and symptoms may include:

How is Klinefelter syndrome treated?

Treatment options for Klinefelter syndrome depend on the symptoms and may include:

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