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Andrology. 2013 Jan;1(1):94-9. doi: 10.1111/j.2047-2927.2012.00013.x. Epub 2012 Oct 9.

Digit ratio (2D:4D) in Klinefelter's syndrome.

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1
Department of Psychology, Swansea University, Swansea, UK. j.manning@swansea.ac.uk

Abstract

The ratio of second to fourth digit length (2D:4D) is a correlate of prenatal testosterone. High 2D:4D is associated with low prenatal testosterone, and reduced sensitivity to testosterone. Klinefelter's syndrome (KS; 47 XXY) affects the endocrine system, such that low testosterone levels are found in KS foetuses, new-borns and adults. To date, there are no published data regarding the pattern of 2D:4D in KS males. Here we consider 2D:4D in KS individuals (n = 51), their relatives (16 fathers and 15 mothers) and an unaffected control sample of 153 men and 153 women. Adult KS individuals were taller than their fathers and had shorter fingers than fathers and male controls. Compared with fathers, male controls and mothers, KS males had shorter fingers relative to height. With regard to 2D:4D, KS individuals had higher 2D:4D than fathers (right and left hands), male controls (right and left hands) and mothers (left hands). Among KS males older than 13 years there were 34 individuals currently prescribed testosterone and nine not prescribed. In comparison to the former, the latter individuals had higher right 2D:4D and higher right-left 2D:4D. We conclude that KS males have mean 2D:4D values similar to those found in female population norms. In addition, testosterone supplementation in KS males may be most common for individuals with low right 2D:4D.

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