Babies Conceived By Women Above 35 At Risk Of Down Syndrome – Therapist

Women who conceive after the age of 35 stands the risk of being delivered of babies with Down syndrome, a speech therapist, Maryam Ibrahim-Maifada, said.

“The older the mother, the higher the risk of having a baby with Down syndrome,’’ Ibrahim-Maifada told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday.

“Down syndrome is a genetic disorder. Most babies are born with 23 pairs of chromosomes within each cell for a total of 46. The majority of babies with Down syndrome are born with an extra chromosome.”

She noted that babies born with Down syndrome face physical and mental challenges throughout life.

They typically have distinctive body and facial features that set them apart. They are more likely to develop slowly, and are more at risk of some medical conditions, she said.

Ibrahim-Maifada listed some of the medical conditions as delays in speech and language development, attention problems, sleep difficulties, stubbornness and tantrums, delays in recognition, and delayed toilet training.

She also listed physical signs of Down syndrome to include short, stocky physical size; a short neck, poor muscle tone, flattened facial features, especially the bridge of the nose, and small ears.

Others are almond-shaped eyes that slant upward, small hands and feet, single deep crease across the center of the palm.

She listed other medical conditions associated with Down syndrome to include heart problems, thyroid abnormalities, auditory and vision problems, and low fertility rates in males.

“About 50 percent of women with Down syndrome are able to bear children. The possibility of risk of their children having the condition is between 35 percent and 50 percent,’’ Ibrahim-Maifada said.

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