is National Down syndrome awareness month. Down syndrome is a genetic disorder
that is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome, which results in varying
degrees of physical and mental impairment. It occurs in one out of every 733
live births. More than 350,000 people in the U.S. have this genetic condition.
Here are a few more facts:
- Down syndrome is a common genetic variation which usually causes delay in
physical, intellectual and language development.
- The exact causes of the chromosomal rearrangement and primary prevention of Down
syndrome are currently unknown.
- Down syndrome is one of the leading clinical causes of cognitive delay in the
world - it is not related to race, nationality, religion or socio-economic
- The incidence of Down syndrome in the United States is estimated to be 1 in
every 733 live births.
- Of all children born in this country annually, approximately 5,000 will have
- There are approximately 1/4 million families in the United States affected by
- While the likelihood of giving birth to a child with Down syndrome increases
with maternal age; nevertheless, 80% of babies with Down syndrome are born to
women under 35 years of age, as women in that age group give birth to more
- There is wide variation in mental abilities, behavior and physical development
in individuals with Down syndrome. Each individual has his/her own unique
personality, capabilities and talents. 30% - 50% of the individuals with Down
syndrome have heart defects and 8% - 12% have gastrointestinal tract
abnormalities present at birth. Most of these defects are now correctable by
- Individuals with Down syndrome benefit from loving homes, early intervention,
inclusive education, appropriate medical care and positive public attitudes.
- In adulthood, many persons with Down syndrome hold jobs, live independently and
enjoy recreational opportunities in their communities.
Courtesy of the NDSC