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Causes/ Prevention


There is no definite way to avoid having a baby with Down’s syndrome. There will always be probabilities, sometimes greater than others. A big factor is the age at which amother conceives. At age 25, probabilities are 1 in 1,250; at age 40 probabilities increase to 1 in 100 (Shriver 2007). Parents with Down syndrome, or with an abnormal 21 chromosome are also at higher risk of conceiving a child with the condition. Many tests can be done before the child is born so that the parents may prepare for the child’s special needs (Shriver 2007).

A series of two surveys on exposure to contraceptive pills prove that there may be an impact at or around the time of pregnancy on Down syndrome probabilities. A study done by Martinez-Frias and Read infer that that there will be a slight increased rate of Down Syndrome for maternal age group 20–29, a decreased rate for maternal age group 30–39 (Read).

It is never certain if a baby will present the condition. About 10 years ago, my parents were told they would conceive a daughter with Down syndrome. My mother was 35 years old. Multiple doctors assured the condition was present. The day my sister was born, she looked perfectly fine; however she was born premature with yellowing of the skin. She stabilized after about 1 month, and now she is a brilliant 5th grader that dreams of becoming the next Hannah Montana.

Accessibility | Privacy| ASU Disclaimer This site was created by Samuel Barragan in fulfillment of requirements for the course TCL 323 : Latino Health Issues taught by Dr. Szkupinski Quiroga at Arizona State University, Fall 2009.