October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. As such, Health & Wellmobile wanted to offer 10 facts that you should know about Down syndrome and the people who have it.
- Down syndrome occurs when a person receives a full or partial extra chromosome 21. Most people have 46 chromosomes, but people with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes.
- There are 3 types: trisomy 21, translocation, or mosaicism. Trisomy 21 is the most common type.
- Mothers can undergo testing through Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS), amniocentesis, and Percutaneous Umbilical Blood Sampling (PUBS) to determine whether the baby has Down syndrome.
- Down syndrome is more common than you may think. In fact, 1 out of ever 691 babies born in the United States is born with Down syndrome.
- The incidents of Down syndrome increased based on the mother’s age when the baby is born, though 80% of all babies born with Down syndrome are born to mothers under the age of 35.
- Some of the common traits of people born with Down syndrome are low muscle tone, smaller stature, upward slant of the eyes, flattened facial features, a deep crease across each palm, and cognitive delays.
- Generally speaking, people with Down syndrome have an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, congenital heart defects, respiratory problems, deafness and other hearing problems, leukemia, and thyroid problems.
- In past times, the life expectancy of people with Down syndrome was 25 years old. Now, the life expectancy is 60 years old, but many people live well into their 70s.
- By undergoing physical, speech, and development therapy, many people with Down syndrome are able to live full and fulfilling lives.
- Many people with Down syndrome graduate high school and go on to complete postsecondary education and employment opportunities.
During the month of October, use your time to learn more about Down syndrome and the thousands of people who have Down syndrome throughout America. You can also stop by the Health & Wellmobile to ask any questions that you may have, so you can spread awareness to those you know.