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Knowing Down Syndrome And Its Risk Factors

March 21 is observed as World Down Syndrome Day. Did you know that the commemoration of World Down Syndrome Day was deliberately chosen on the 21st day of the 3rd month to signify the trisomy of the 21st chromosome that causes Down Syndrome?

Down syndrome is a condition in which children are born with an extra copy of the 21st chromosome, also known as trisomy 21 so that they have 47 chromosomes, whereas in general babies are born with 46 chromosomes.

It is estimated that 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 1,100 live births worldwide have Down syndrome. WHO data estimates that there are about 3,000 to 5,000 children born with this chromosomal disorder each year.

There are risk factors for children born with Down Syndrome, including:
1. ) Age
The older the mother is when she is pregnant, the higher the risk of having a baby with genetic problems such as Down's Syndrome, because there is a greater risk of experiencing improper chromosomal division.
2. ) Genetic
If the parent is a carrier, there is a 3% chance that the child will be born with Down Syndrome if the carrier is the father, and 10-15% if the carrier is the mother.
3. ) A history of carrying a baby with Down syndrome
Mothers who have been pregnant with Down Syndrome babies are more likely to give birth to Down Syndrome babies in their next pregnancy.
4. ) Lack of folic acid intake
Folic acid functions to produce, repair, and activate the baby's genetic DNA. Deficiency of folic acid during pregnancy certainly affects the process of forming the baby's DNA.
5. ) Exposure to foreign substances and chemicals
Cigarette smoke, vehicles, industries and cosmetics that contain chemicals can affect the health conditions of the mother and the fetus.

It is said that children with Down Syndrome have physical and mental developmental delays, but they can live independently depending on how their parents' upbringing was done since childhood. Support from parents, family, and medical personnel is very influential on improving the growth and development of children with Down Syndrome.

Prospective parents can do genetic counseling before the pregnancy program or counseling related to the growth and development of children with Down Syndrome with our doctor through the mDoc application.