What Is the Average Lifespan for Someone With Prader-Willi Syndrome?

As of 2015, the average lifespan for someone with Prader-Willi syndrome is 30, but some individuals with this condition live beyond 60 years of age, notes The New York Times Magazine. Obesity-related complications cause most deaths among those with Prader-Willi syndrome.

An error in genes on chromosome 15 leads to Prader-Willi syndrome, resulting in uncontrollable hunger, sexual underdevelopment, stunted growth and behavioral complication, notes Mayo Clinic. Due to a dysfunctional hypothalamus, those with Prader-Willi syndrome do not feel an sensation of satiety or being full; and, this uncontrollable appetite leads to overeating, obesity and obesity-related complications, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea and liver disease. Binge eating leads to abdominal distension, choking and rarely a ruptured stomach. The underdevelopment of sexual organs leads to sterility and osteoporosis. Although a cure is not available, common treatment methods include growth-hormone replacement, sex-hormone treatment, diet control and mental health care.