Trisomy 21 is a condition caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21. Typically, a baby will have 2 copies of each chromosome (one from the mom and one from the dad). Babies with Down syndrome have three copies of the 21st chromosome.
Children with Down syndrome will need extra medical care depending on the child’s specific health problems. Most children with Down syndrome have intellectual disabilities that range from mild to moderate. Early intervention has proven to be essential in enabling individuals with Down syndrome to lead healthy and productive lives. Most people with Down syndrome live into their 60's and many live even longer. The presence of medical conditions, like heart defects, can affect the lifespan in these children and adults. Miscarriage occurs in about 30% of pregnancies with Down syndrome. To learn more, go to Resources.
About 1 in 800 babies are born with Down syndrome. However, the incidence increases with age. A woman who is 38 year has a 1 in 177 chance of delivering a baby with Down syndrome. Medical societies recommend screening for all pregnant women over the age of 35. The Panorama test can tell you your risk. A “low-risk” result means you have less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of having a baby with Down syndrome.