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Congenital adrenal hyperplasia

  • Definition

    Congenital adrenal hyperplasia refers to a group of inherited disorders of the adrenal gland.


    Alternative Names

    Adrenogenital syndrome; 21-hydroxylase deficiency


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Congenital adrenal hyperplasia can affect both boys and girls. People with congenital adrenal hyperplasia lack an enzyme needed by the adrenal gland to make the hormones cortisol and aldosterone.

    Without these hormones, the body produces more androgen, a type of male sex hormone. This causes male characteristics to appear early (or inappropriately).

    About 1 in 10,000 to 18,000 children are born with congenital adrenal hyperplasia.