OLDER MOTHERS APPEAR MOST AT RISK

Down Syndrome occurs in one in eight hundred births in the U.S. About 5,000 children with Down Syndrome are born in the country annually. The general, conventional belief is that the incidence of this disorder increases with the mother’s age, with less than a one in a thousand risk of a woman under thirty having a Down Syndrome baby. The risk is presumed to increase to one in twenty-five for the 45-year-old mother.

However, the National Association for Down Syndrome points out that more current research shows that 80% of babies born with Down Syndrome are to women under 35 years of age! So this suggests very strongly that the mother’s age will not determine the actual risk. A close review of current research statistics provides a convincing argument that is merely looking at the mother’s age will miss 75% of all Down Syndrome cases.

So much for statistics. We need to keep in mind that younger women are much more likely to get pregnant. This fact alone can skew all the statistics doctors are so fond of reciting. A meticulous analysis of them brings us back to the original idea that older women have, a higher risk, as individuals, of having a Down Syndrome baby.

TO ABORT OR NOT TO ABORT

The question every woman over 35 and contemplating pregnancy are faced with is; “should I consider screening?” Moreover, if the test comes back positive, it then comes down to the question of … Read More