Down Syndrome - Maternal Age

Was maternal age an issue in conceiving a child with Down syndrome? Please share your story.

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What are the risk factors for conceiving a child with Down syndrome?

The only well known risk factor for conceiving a child with Down syndrome is advanced maternal age. The older the woman is at conception, the greater the risk of having a child with Down syndrome.

Mother's age at conception Risk of Down syndrome

  • 25 years 1 in 1,250
  • 30 years 1 in 1,000
  • 35 years 1 in 400
  • 40 years 1 in 100
  • 45 years 1 in 30

Parents who have conceived a child with Down syndrome have a 1% increased risk of conceiving another child with Down syndrome. If a parent is a carrier of a chromosome 21 translocation, the risk increases.

Women with Down syndrome have a 50% risk of conceiving a child with Down syndrome. If the father has Down syndrome, the risk of conceiving a child with Down syndrome is also increased.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Grace, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 07

I conceived my son at age 22. It was only after he was born that my dad told me he has a sister with Down syndrome. Apparently my age was not a factor. Could I be a carrier? And what are the odds that my daughter, whom I had at 21, is also a carrier?

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Comment from: Dee, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 11

I was 23 when I had my 2nd child who was born with Down's. I subsequently had a third child who did not have Down's. There have been no known instances of a Down's child in either my side or my husband"s before or since. My two other children have three children each. One is autistic, the other five are normal. My daughter with Down's is now thirty. She lives with my husband and me.

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