How does maternal age affect the incidence of Down syndrome?

Updated: Apr 30, 2018
  • Author: Gratias Tom Mundakel, MBBS, DCH; Chief Editor: Maria Descartes, MD  more...
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Answer

Occurrence is strongly dependent on maternal age. The incidence of this syndrome at various maternal ages is as follows:

  • 15-29 years - 1 case in 1500 live births

  • 30-34 years - 1 case in 800 live births

  • 35-39 years - 1 case in 270 live births

  • 40-44 years - 1 case in 100 live births

  • Older than 45 years - 1 case in 50 live births

On rare occasions, the disease can be observed in a few members of a family. The risk for recurrence of Down syndrome in a patient’s siblings also depends on maternal age.


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