First insights into the genetics of 21-hydroxylase deficiency in the Roma population.

21-hydroxylase deficiency (21OHD) is an autosomal recessive disorder with an incidence of 1:10,000-1:20,000 and is the result of various mutations in the CYP21A2 gene. 21OHD has been described in many different populations, but it has not been studied in Roma individuals so far. The aim of the study was to analyze the genotype in Roma patients with 21OHD and the prevalence of the disease in the Roma population of North Macedonia.Molecular analysis of the nine most frequent CYP21A2 mutations in all known Roma patients with CAH in North Macedonia, relatives, and healthy individuals of Roma ancestry, using the PCR/ACRS method.Ten Roma patients with 21OHD were identified, of which nine had the salt-wasting and one had the simple virilizing form. Calculated incidence of 21OHD in the North Macedonian Roma population was 1:3375. Interestingly, 9/10 patients (90%) were homozygous for the In2G splicing mutation (293-13A/C>G). Standard therapy with hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone had been introduced according to the guidelines. In 16 healthy relatives investigated for CYP21A2 mutations, heterozygosity for the In2G mutation was detected in 13/32 (40.6%) alleles. In 100 healthy Roma individuals, none related to the analyzed families, no CYP21A2 mutations were detected.The Roma population in North Macedonia had a very high incidence of classic 21OHD. Almost all patients had the severe salt-wasting form and the In2G/In2G genotype.

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Authors: Mirjana Kocova, Violeta Anastasovska, Aleksandar Petlichkovski, Henrik Falhammar