WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY: 9 Facts About Down Syndrome
22 March 2017 Health
Down syndrome or Trisomy 21 is a genetic condition where a person is born with an extra copy of the 21 chromosome. It is the most commonly occurring chromosome condition.
March 21 every year, the world celebrates Down syndrome. On this day, people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world organize and participate in activities and events to raise public awareness and create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome.
It is also a day of recognizing what they can do for the society, how they can benefit and identify their abilities. And having the right understanding about the condition will help you relate better with those living with the disability.
Below are some facts about down syndrome.
- People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia and thyroid conditions. The good news is, many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives.
- It’s a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition and the exact cause of the extra chromosome that triggers Down syndrome is unknown.
- Children and adults with Down syndrome share some common features, but naturally the individuals will more closely resemble their immediate family members. 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
- For mothers who are older than 40 years, about 12 in 1,000 pregnancies result in a baby with Down syndrome.
- Because younger women generally have more children, about 75-80 percent of children with Down syndrome are born to younger women.
- The condition leads to impairments in both cognitive ability and physical growth that range from mild to moderate developmental disabilities.
- While behavior, mental ability, and physical development varies from person to person, many individuals with Down syndrome grow up to hold jobs, live independently, and enjoy normal recreational activities.
- In 1983, the average life expectancy of a person with Down syndrome was a mere 25-years-old. Today, it’s 60.