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Down Syndrome

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Summary

Down syndrome is a condition caused by additional genetic material in chromosome 21, typically due to nondisjunction, or the failure of certain genetic material to separate during fetal development. The cause of nondisjunction is unknown.1 However, the likelihood of a child having Down syndrome rises from a 1 in 350 chance when the mother is 35, to a 1 in 30 chance when the mother is 45.2 Down syndrome results in both physical and cognitive disability, and can cause those with the condition to be more susceptible to heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and leukemia. A range of 60 to 80 percent of children with the condition also have hearing impairments. Worldwide, it is estimated that 3,000 to 5,000 children are born with Down syndrome each year. In the United States alone, approximately 250,000 families have an individual in their household with Down syndrome.3 However, due to advancements in medicine such as antibiotics and corrective heart surgeries, 80 percent of adults with Down syndrome reach 60 years of age. In the early 20th century, the life expectancy of a child with Down syndrome was 9 years old.4 Show References
1 https://www.who.int/genomics/public/geneticdiseases/en/index1.html 2 https://www.ndss.org/about-down-syndrome/down-syndrome/ 3 https://www.who.int/genomics/public/geneticdiseases/en/index1.html 4 https://www.ndss.org/about-down-syndrome/down-syndrome/
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