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  • Down syndrome is a common genetic variation which usually causes delay in physical, intellectual and language development.

  • The exact causes of the chromosomal rearrangement and primary prevention of Down syndrome are currently unknown. Down syndrome is one of the leading clinical causes of cognitive delay in the world.

  • The incidence of Down syndrome in the United States is estimated to be 1 in every 691 live births.

  • About one-quarter million families in the United States are affected by Down syndrome.  It is not related to race, nationality, religion, social, or economic status.

  • The incidence of birth of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. However, due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.

  • There is wide variation in intellectual abilities, behavior and physical development in individuals with Down syndrome. Each individual has his/her own unique personality, capabilities and talents.

  • 30 – 50% of individuals with Down syndrome have heart defects and 8 – 12% have gastrointestinal tract abnormalities present at birth.  Most of these conditions are now correctable with surgery.

  • A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm. Every person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees or not at all.

  • Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades – from 25 in 1983 to 60 today.

  • Down syndrome is named after British doctor John Langdon Down, who fully described the syndrome in 1866.

  • Individuals with Down syndrome benefit from loving homes, early intervention, inclusive education, appropriate medical care and positive public attitudes.

  • In adulthood, many persons with Down syndrome hold jobs, live independently and enjoy recreational opportunities in their communities.

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