The Thinking Parent:
Down’s Syndrome Births On the Decline
By Jennifer Hahn
The number of babies born with Down’s syndrome is declining in the United States, despite the fact that more women are having children later in life. Researchers at the University of Connecticut evaluated the rate of live births of babies born with Down’s syndrome from 1989 to 2001. They also determined the expected rate of Down’s syndrome births for the same period.
The rate of Down’s syndrome live birth was expected to increase by 1.32 times from 1989 to 2001. However, the rate of births actually declined. The number of births of babies with Down’s syndrome decreased from 3,962 in 1989 to 3,654 in 2001 in this sample. Women aged 15 to 34 had 45 percent fewer babies born with Down’s syndrome in 2001. Women aged 35 to 49 had 53 percent fewer babies born with Down’s syndrome.
© Jennifer Hahn
NFO contributor, Dr. Jennifer Hahn, is the editor of The Thinking Parent, a quarterly publication reviewing research of interest to parents: child development and parenting, pregnancy and childbirth, physical health, mental health and education. With more than 12 years of experience in research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Hahn received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and completed her residency at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center. She is the mother of two daughters.