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Key Fact
Williams syndrome was first identified in 1961.

History and Prevalence of Williams Syndrome 

​It is important to remember that a person is always a person first, the diagnosis is secondary


Williams syndrome is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder and, currently the prevalence has been estimated to be between 1 in 7,500 and 1 in 20,000 people in the population. This range is quite wide because of differences in measuring populations.



The syndrome was first identified by the New Zealander John Cyprian Phipps Williams in 1961.  Initial descriptions of Williams syndrome mainly reflected the physical conditions observed in individuals, such as infantile hypercalcemia (high calcium levels in the blood in infants) and heart conditions such as supravalvar aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aorta). 


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