Thursday, 5 April 2012

Research: are termination rates as high as previously thought?

A new research paper,  published by the journal Prenatal Diagnosis, provides more up-to-date information and analysis of the termination rates of pregnancies in the US, in which a diagnosis of Down syndrome has been made prenatally, indicating lower rates than have been found in earlier international studies (60 - 85%, rather than more than 90%).

The researchers concluded that  from US data alone ...


This systematic review presents the largest synthesis of United States data on termination rates following a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. Evidence suggests that termination rates are lower than noted in a previous review that was based on less contemporary studies and had an international focus. Heterogeneity across studies suggests that a summary termination rate may not be applicable to the entire US population.\\The full text of the paper is freely available online here.


Citation:
Jaime L. Natoli, Deborah L. Ackerman, Suzanne McDermott, Janice G. Edwards, Prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome: a systematic review of termination rates (1995–2011), Prenatal Diagnosis, Vol 32, Issue 2, pp 142–153, February 2012

Dr Adam Wolfberg, a Boston obstetrician, neonatalogist and medical writer explains for The Atlantic magazine, why the data might vary internationally, and over time.  He also speculates that new non-invasive prenatal diagnostic tests might or might not result in the dramatic drop in birth incidence widely anticipated.

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