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Living with Marfan syndrome III. Quality of life and reproductive planning


Corresponding author: Kathryn Peters, MS, Pennsylvania State University, 101 Amy Gardner House, University Park, PA 16802, USA. Tel.: 814 865 1717;
fax: 814 863 4768;


As individuals with Marfan syndrome are increasingly diagnosed earlier in life and prior to life-threatening cardiovascular events, there is opportunity to study factors that influence their reproductive planning and quality of life. In this study of 174 affected adults, the overall quality of life was reported to be adequate, although it was significantly decreased within the spiritual/psychological domain. Approximately 62% agreed that having Marfan syndrome significantly affected their reproductive decision-making. This view was correlated with age of diagnosis, mitral valve prolapse, and the view that Marfan syndrome has adverse consequences on life. Sixty-nine percent reported personal interest in prenatal testing for Marfan syndrome. Respondents most commonly cited increased worries about personal health and the recurrence risk as ways that Marfan syndrome affects their reproductive decisions. Age, striae, back pain, and low quality of life were each independently correlated with lack of sex drive. These results affirm the importance of both clinical and psychosocial issues on affected adults' reproductive decision-making and sexual well-being. Genetic professionals are ideally positioned to discuss concerns about quality of life and reproduction with patients with Marfan syndrome and refer those with significant concerns for further evaluation and management.