October 9, 2012

7 Down Syndrome Facts You Should Know

Posted in Category : General Health

Down syndrome can be described as a genetic disorder, which causes a person to suffer from developmental delays, mental retardation and other problems for life. Since the disorder can vary in severity, the problems faced by the patient could also range from moderate to serious. There is no cure for Down syndrome, though increased awareness of the condition and early intervention could improve the lives of both children and adults.

To increase your awareness of this common disorder, given below are 7 Down syndrome facts you should know –

  1. Down syndrome is the most common genetic disorder that causes learning disabilities in kids. Statistics show that 1 out of 800 children suffer from this condition. According to the National Down Syndrome Society, over 400,000 individuals living in the US suffer from this disorder.
  2. There are three different types of Down syndrome that can affect people. The most common type is known as Non-disjunction, affecting about 95% of the individuals who have this disorder. Translocation is prevalent in around 2% to 3% of all the Down syndrome patients and about 1% to 2% of them suffer from Mosaicism.
  3. Down syndrome occurs in a person even before conception, so there is nothing that can be done or avoided, to prevent it. The disorder takes places when the sperm or egg is produced with an extra copy of the Chromosome 21.
  4. This disorder cannot be prevented by taking prenatal vitamins. However, pregnant women should take their prenatal vitamins regularly, as folic acid is essential for the growth and development of the baby
  5. This condition was first described by John Langdon Down in 1866, which is why it was known as Down’s syndrome. However, since the author did not have the disorder, the possessive use of the eponym was discontinued in 1975.
  6. Instances of Down syndrome can be found in children living all over the world. There is no particular race, nationality, religion, gender or socio-economic status that is affected more than the others.
  7. The risks of Down syndrome increase considerably with the mother’s age. For example, in women aged 25, the risks of having a baby with this disorder is 1 in 1,250 & in women aged 45, the risks are 1 in 30. However, many experts argue that 80% of the babies with Down syndrome are born to mothers under the age of 35.

If you think you are at a high risk of having a baby with Down syndrome, or if you already have one child suffering from this disorder, consult a genetic counselor before planning a baby.


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Down Syndrome. Created 3/11/09.
  • National Down Syndrome Society. Information Topics. Accessed 4/20/09.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Genetics. Health Supervision for Children with Down Syndrome. Pediatrics, volume 107, number 2, February 2001, pages 442-449 (reaffirmed 9/1/07).