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Down Syndrome – Definition, Facts, Statistics, Types and More

Down Syndrome Definition

Down syndrome occurs in a baby develops an extra copy of chromosome 21 during pregnancy, leading to telltale symptoms.

These signs and symptoms can include recognizable facial features, as well as developmental and intellectual difficulties.

What are the Facts and Statistics of Down Syndrome?

We have compiled some facts and statistics on Down syndrome below:

  • About 6,000 babies are born with these and common chromosomal disorder in the United States every year.
  • An estimated one in 700 Trusted Source babies born in the United States has the condition.
  • The estimated Down syndrome incidence is between 1 in 1,000 and 1 in 1,100 live births worldwide.
  • Many people will have mild to moderate intellectual and developmental problems. Others may have more severe complications.
  • The same is right with health, where some people with it may be healthy.
  • Others may have a variety of health-related complications, such as heart defects.

What are the Types of Down Syndrome?


Although the condition can be considered a singular syndrome, there are three different types of Down syndrome.

  • Trisomy 21 is the most common of it and represents 95 percent of all cases.
  • The other two types are translocation and mosaicism. Regardless of the class a person has, everyone with Down syndrome has an extra pair of chromosomes 21.

Babies of all races can have Down syndrome. Down syndrome does not occur in one breed more than another.

However, in the United States, black or African American babies with Down syndrome are less than white babies with the condition. The reasons are unclear.

What are the Causes of Down Syndrome?

Down Syndrome

People with it an extra chromosome. The nucleus cell contains 23 pairs or 46 chromosomes in all.

These chromosomes determine something about you, from your hair color to your gender.

People with it have an extra copy or a partial copy of chromosome 21.

1. Maternal Age 

  • Eighty percent of children with trisomy 21 or Down mosaic syndrome are born to mothers under 35 years of age.
  • Younger women have babies more often, so the number of babies with Down syndrome is higher in that group.
  • However, mothers over 35 are more likely to have a baby affected by the disease.
  • According to the National Society, a 35-year-old woman has about a 1 in 350 chance of conceiving a child with it
  • This probability gradually increases to 1 in 100 by 40 and approximately 1 in 30 by 45.

2. Genetic Condition 

  • Neither trisomy 21 nor mosaicism inherit from a parent.
  • These cases are the result of a random cell division event during the baby’s development.
  • But a third of translocation cases are inherited, accounting for about 1 percent of all Down syndrome cases.
  • That means that the genetic material that can lead to it pass down from parent to child.
  • Both parents can carry the translocated Down syndrome genes without showing any signs or symptoms of Down syndrome.
  • Women who had a child with it have a greater chance of having another child with the condition.
  • A woman has a child suffering these diseases; the risk of having a second child with the syndrome is 1 in 100 up to 40.
  • The risk of having a second child these types of Down syndrome is 10 to 15 percent if the mother is a carrier of the genes. However, if the father is the carrier, the risk is around 3 percent.

Complications of Down Syndrome

  1. People with it can have a variety of complications:
  2. Babies with it also had a congenital heart defect. It finds to be five times more likely to die in the first year of life than babies with Down syndrome who did not have a heart defect.
  3. Also, a congenital heart defect is one of the most significant predictors of death before age 20.
  4. However, new advances in heart surgery are helping people with this condition live longer.
  5. Compared to children without it, children with it are at higher risk for complications such as hearing loss – up to 75 percent of affected.  And eye diseases, such as cataracts – up to 60 percent.

What are the Symptoms of Down Syndrome?

Symptoms of Down Syndrome

The symptoms of Down syndrome are not the same for everyone. It causes many different characteristics, such as:

  • A small stature
  • Upward slanting eyes
  • A flattened bridge of the nose
  • A short neck

However, a person will have different degrees of characteristics; some of the traits may not appear.

People with Down syndrome can work, but they often have jobs that underuse their skills.

More than 25 % of those surveyed were volunteers, almost 3 percent were self-employed, and 30 percent were unemployed.

Additionally, the highest percentage of people worked in the restaurant or food industry and janitorial and cleaning services.

However, the vast majority of adults reported using computers.

Treatments of Down Syndrome


The number of children born with Down syndrome dies before their first birthday in between 1979 and 2003.

The death rate for a person born with Down syndrome during their first year of life decreased by about 41%.

It means that only about 5 percent of babies born with Down syndrome will die before their first birthday.

1. Average Survival Age

  • In the 1900s early, children with Down syndrome rarely lived beyond the age of 9.
  • Thanks to advances in treatment, most people with the condition will live to be 60 years old. Some can live even longer.

2. Early Intervention

  • Although it cannot cure, treatment and teaching life skills can help improve the quality of life for the child, and eventually the adult.
  • Treatment programs typically start with physical, occupational and speech therapy for toddlers, life skills classes, and educational opportunities.
  • Many schools and foundations offer highly specialized courses and programs for children and adults with it.

3. Older Adults

  • It lives to be much older, but it is not uncommon for them to develop thinking and memory problems as they age.
  • According to the Down Syndrome Association, by age 50, about half of people with it.
  • It will show memory loss and other problems – such as loss of skills – associated with Alzheimer’s disease.


Although it remains the most common chromosomal disorder children are born in today, the future is increasingly bright for them.

People with this condition are thriving, and their life expectancy is increasing thanks to improved treatments and therapies.

Additionally, increasing understanding of preventive measures and complications associated with the condition.

It allows caregivers, educators, and clinicians to anticipate and plan for the longer future.


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