Sunday, October 22, 2006

Down Syndrome Influenced by More than Just Maternal Age

Researchers in Germany have found that the likelihood of having a child with Down syndrome is influenced by the number of children a woman has and the age gap between them, as well as maternal age. This conclusion was drawn after researchers examined data on pregnancy and births from 1953 and 1972.

While a mother’s age was shown to have a link to the number Down syndrome cases, investigators also found that women having their first child at an older age were more likely to have a child with Down syndrome.

Furthermore, findings showed that the longer the gap between pregnancies, the greater the number of Down syndrome cases. It is thought that older women’s natural “filtering system”, which helps identify healthy, strong embryos begins to relax with age, thereby increasing the chance of having a child with Down syndrome.


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