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What is Down Syndrome?

Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring genetic condition at 1 in every 691 births. Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels. More than 400,000 people in the United States are living with the condition.  Every year there are  welcomes approximately 50 new babies each year. Down syndrome is not a disease and people do not suffer from it. They are born with Down syndrome and will have it their whole life. They cannot give it to someone else and they cannot be cured of it.

Common physical traits of Down syndrome include low muscle tone, small stature, almond shaped eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm. Every person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees or not at all.

People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, gastrointestinal issues, respiratory difficulty, hearing and vision problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia, and thyroid conditions. However, many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives. Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades – from 25 in 1983 to 60 today.

People with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays in the mild to moderate range. It’s important to remember that IQ is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses. Individuals with Down syndrome are achieving at levels we never once thought possible.

Quality educational programs, a stimulating home environment, good health care, and positive support from family, friends and the community enable people with Down syndrome to develop their full potential and lead fulfilling lives. People with Down syndrome are attending college, marrying and working competitively in their communities in increasing numbers.

WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF DOWN SYNDROME?

It has been known for some time that the risk of having a child with Down syndrome increases with advancing age of the mother; i.e., the older the mother, the greater the possibility that she may have a child with Down syndrome. However, most babies with Down syndrome (more than 85 percent) are born to mothers younger than 35 years. It is well known that the extra chromosome in trisomy 21 could either originate in the mother or the father. Most often, however, the extra chromosome comes from the mother.

 

You are not Alone!

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Dear Future Mother

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Myth Busted!

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http://health.utah.gov/ubdn/defects/down.html

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Best Doctors in Utah!

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