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Women 35 years and above are at higher risk of giving birth to babies with Down syndrome – Expert

Pediatric Physiotherapist, Yvonne Ewurama Osei has said that one of the conditions that put an individual at a higher risk of having babies with Down syndrome is advanced maternal or paternal age.

Speaking on Joy Prime’s Prime Morning, she said that research has proven that women who are 35 years and above have a higher risk of producing babies with this condition.

“It doesn’t mean that every 35-year-old that gives birth is going to have a baby with Down syndrome, we’ve seen people in their 40s and 50s having neuron typical kids with no other issues,” she said on Tuesday, March 21, 2023.

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder in baby formation whereby there is an extra copy of the 21st chromosome (Chromosome 21) which affects the physical outlook of an individual, the body structure and the general body function.

Miss Osei also mentioned that the claims that men who are 40 years and above also stand a higher chance of producing babies with Down syndrome are factual.

“There’s recent research telling us that some of the kids with Down syndrome have fathers that are 40 years and above when they were born. Yes it’s true and like I said it’s your risk, it doesn’t necessarily mean that every 40-year-old man or above 40 will definitely have a child with Down syndrome,” she said.

“It just puts you at a higher risk. So it helps you advise yourself and explore your options, especially when it comes to these genetic counselling, screening and diagnostic test,” she noted.

Miss Osei added that even though research has proven that children with Down syndrome have mild to moderate Intelligence quotient (IQ), when they get access to early intervention, resources and support, they are able to improve in other areas of their lives.

The physiotherapist announced that the Down Syndrome Ghana Foundation is organizing a family retreat on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at the Mmofra Place, Dzorwulu.

She urged all parents and guardians of children with Down syndrome to come along with them.

She added that there will be a free health screening and professionals will be present at the event to educate and counsel families.

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