SECOND OPINION | MYTH OR MEDICINE | DOWN SYNDROME| BCBS

SECOND OPINION | MYTH OR MEDICINE | DOWN SYNDROME| BCBS


Narrator: Blue Cross Blue Shield is a proud
sponsor of Second Opinion. Live Fearless Narrator: Down syndrome occurs when a child is born
with extra genetic material from chromosome 21. And since older women are
more likely to have chromosomal abnormalities in their eggs, does this
mean only older mothers are at risk for having babies with down syndrome? Is this
myth or medicine? Dr. Sulkes: Only older mothers are at risk for giving birth to babies with down syndrome. That’s a myth but we can understand where it came from. I’m Stephen Sulkes. I’m professor of
Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center and Co-Director
of the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities. We all know that the risk
for giving birth to a baby with Down Syndrome increases with advancing
maternal age. The risk for a woman who is 28 years old is about one in a thousand.
The risk for a woman who’s 35 years old is about one in 350. And when she gets
to age 40, the risk rises to about one in 100. The thing is, that most babies are born to younger
mothers and therefore most babies with down syndrome are born to younger
mothers. The risk for having another baby with Down syndrome, once you’ve had one, also varies with the
kind of down syndrome that it is. As I said before, the risk for a woman aged 28 is
about one in a 1,000. However, the next time that woman gets pregnant, the risk changes to
about 1 in 150, independent of maternal age. And stays there until the maternal
age related risk catches up. A woman who’s had one child with Down syndrome
should check with her doctor about future pregnancies as well because her
risk may be increased. And that’s medicine. Narrator: Not sure if it’s myth or
medicine? Connect with us online. We’ll get to work and get you a Second Opinion. Narrator: Blue Cross Blue shield is a proud sponsor of Second Opinion. Live Fearless

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