Down Syndrome

What is Down Syndrome

By Fernanda Travassos-Rodriguez

Down syndrome results from a genetic accident that occurs in an average of 1 in every 800 births, increasing the incidence with increasing maternal age. Currently, it is considered the most frequent genetic alteration and the occurrence of Down Syndrome among live newborns of mothers up to 27 years old is 1 / 1,200. With mothers aged 30-35 it is 1/365 and after 35 years the frequency increases more rapidly: between 39-40 years it is 1/100 and after 40 it becomes even greater. It affects all ethnic groups and socio-economic groups equally. It is a genetic condition known for more than a century, described by John Langdon Down and which is one of the most frequent causes of mental disability (18%). In Brazil, according to IBGE estimates made in the 2000 census, there are 300 thousand people with Down syndrome.