At a time when new, noninvasive prenatal tests are being trialled and prepared for commercial release in the UK and in North America, the European Journal of Human Genetics (advance online publication 2 July 2008) has published a UK study tracking the evolution of birth rate trends for babies with Down syndrome over 20 years (1985 - 2004).
The trend is complicated by the introduction of widespread pre-natal testing and increasing numbers of all babies born to women over 35 years of age.
The abstract concludes: Increasing maternal age and improved survival of children with Down syndrome have offset the effects of prenatal diagnosis followed by the termination of pregnancy and declining general birth rate.
Click here to read the abstract and Dr Len Leshin's comments on Down Syndrome: Health Issues.
Click here to purchase a copy of the full text of the paper from the publisher.