What is Down syndrome?

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What is Down syndrome? 2017-07-10T21:33:41+00:00

One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome, making Down syndrome the most common genetic condition.

The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.

Approximately 400,000 Americans have Down syndrome and about 6,000 babies with Down syndrome are born in the United States each year.

People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives.

The average life expectancy of a person born with Down syndrome in 1910 was 25 years of age. The average life expectancy of a person born with Down syndrome today is 55-60 years of age.

  • Children with Down syndrome benefit from early intervention therapies which help them meet their developmental milestones
  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was passed in 1975 insuring all children with Down syndrome access to a free and appropriate public education.
  • Young adults with Down syndrome are graduating from high school with their peers and some are going on to college!
  • Many adults with Down syndrome are getting married and living full and productive lives.
  • With continued emphasis on research, scientists believe it will be possible to improve, correct or prevent many of the problems associated with Down syndrome in the future.

National Down Syndrome Congress 'Light at the End of the Tunnel Brochure

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