Down Syndrome by Age
A genetic disorder, Down syndrome is diagnosed in 1 out of every 800 newborns. It is commonly associated with a characteristic facial appearance and mental retardation. What causes it? Typically, it is the result of a random event that occurs during the formation of reproductive cells, causing a third chromosome 21 to be present.
The condition can be diagnosed either during prenatal testing or shortly after birth. Although there is no cure, the life expectancy for people with Down syndrome is now longer than ever -- often to age 50 or beyond. In addition to living longer, adults with Down syndrome are now living fuller, richer lives as family members and contributors to their communities.
(Looking for more information on Down syndrome throughout different phases of life? The following eMedTV articles provide information by age group: Down Syndrome Babies, Children With Down Syndrome, Adolescents With Down Syndrome, and Adults With Down Syndrome.)