increasing maternal age increases the probability of more babies
conceived who have Down's Syndrome. As shown above, the probability of
conceiving a child with Down's Syndrome increases dramatically with age,
and the average age of conception is increasing.
However, there are two other factors:
scientists developed a blood test to screen for Down's Syndrome earlier
in the pregnancy which will reduce the need for the current definitive
test done through an amniocentesis. Once the new test is widely used,
it is likely that more parents will find out if their babies have Down's
earlier since some currently avoid invasive testing due to the inherent
- Rates of pregnancy termination for babies who have Down's
Syndrome is currently at around 90% in the US. If testing were earlier
when termination is easier, it is possible that this rate will increase.
is unclear what the impact on live births will be after the new testing
is available. Recent trends in the US have shown that there was a
period of declining live births of babies with Downs before 2000, but
then some increase since then.
For further reading:
Life Expectancy Increases for Down’s Syndrome Patients
Medical Problems Associated with Down Syndrome
Down Syndrome: What is, Causes, Diagnosis and Features