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does anyone know what the risk of Downs is for a 35 year old

(46 Posts)
spangles Tue 14-Jun-05 12:58:05

What are the statistics of having a baby with downs syndrome at 35 years of age.

Trifle Tue 14-Jun-05 13:09:24

The odds at age 35 are 1 in 450. This statistic can reduce due to your health, lifestyle etc and a blood test will give you a more accurate score. Mine at age 35 turned out to be 1 in 180 so cue the amniocentesis which I would have had regardless of my odds.

Thomcat Tue 14-Jun-05 13:13:03

Since Down's syndrome is a chromosomal disorder caused by an error in cell division, the likelihood of such an error occuring increases with maternal age. This means that an older mother is more likely to give birth to a child with Down's sydrome than her a younger woman. However, overall, fewer older mothers have babies than younger ones.

According to the National Association for Down syndrome, "80% of babies born with Down syndrome are born to women younger than 35. The average maternal age is 28 years old." The likelihood of a woman under 30 years of age giving birth to a child with Down syndrome is less than 1:1000, but increases the older the woman gets (see chart below), with an incidence of about 1:60 at 42 years of age.

At 25 years old the risk ratio is 1 in 1400.

At 30 years old the risk ratio is 1 in 800.

At 35 years old the risk ratio is 1 in 380.

At 38 years old the risk ratio is 1 in 190.

At 40 years old the risk ratio is 1 in 110.

At 45 years old the risk ratio is 1 in 30.

Blu Tue 14-Jun-05 13:14:43

The odds are quite different for each individual pregnancy, as Trifles case shows, and is re-calculated according to the nuchal fold scan, if one is done.

Thomcat Tue 14-Jun-05 13:15:43


You should be aware that if you have an CVS (to find out for sure) 1 in 50 women miscarry and you can't have it earlier than at 17 weeks.

If you have an amnio the risk of missacarriage is i in 100. However you can't have this test until you are 20 weeks, so if you decide to terminate you'll have to be doing this at 20 weeks.

Thomcat Tue 14-Jun-05 13:19:35

If you want to know how at risk you personally are you should have the intergrated test. This is done around 12 weeks, just before. They give you a nucal scan where they measure the fluid and they give you 1 lot of blood tests which is then repeated a while later and they put all these figures together, inc your age and give your your personal risk of having a baby with DS.

Being high risk does NOT mean that your baby will have DS.

oliveoil Tue 14-Jun-05 13:25:43

I didn't have any tests as, even if the results did show a possibility of DS, I wouldn't have done anything about it anyway. So if you are of the same mind, then don't have the tests as you will just spend 9 months worrying about percentages. This is my own personal opinion, not a dig at anyone that has tests btw.

milward Tue 14-Jun-05 13:45:59

Beware the tests!! - At 34 I had the nuchal neck scan & my dd had a nucal measure of 5mm - normal is less than 1.9mm. Had cvs at 11 weeks. Got results a few days later. Loads of abnormal cells. Had the amnio at 14 weeks. Got result in a week that not prob wasn't downs. Waited nearly 5 weeks & got the all clear. The problem with the cvs test was that I had confined placental mosicism. This is when the 6 cells that go to make the placenta had abnormal cell divisoins but those that go to make the baby were ok. They don't know if it's chance or some sort of cell selection that gets carried out. The nuchal neck of 5mm was never explained.
This time I had the nuchal neck test was & it was abnormal. Had the blood test got a 1:20 risk of probs (I'm 36 now). Refused cvs & amnio. Had triple test - again high risk. Will accept what ever happens. Hate these tests as they cause stress & worry - plus the risks of miscarriage.

Thomcat Tue 14-Jun-05 13:51:24

me too milward, I so wish they couldn't test for DS, it's the one thing that people always focus on like it's the worst thing in the world that could possibly happen, and it so isn't. Not a doig at you at all spangles, more aimed at the medical profession really.

(my little girl has Down's syndrome by the way, so if you want to ask anything or talk about yur worries and want to hear positive stories about having a child with DS, then I'm your girl )

milward Tue 14-Jun-05 14:04:28

Thanks tomcat - My baby to be born in september is at high risk from the test result ratios. I have thought about how I will be if he does have downs - we are ok about it and will fully accept the situation. At the scan at 20 weeks the doc said the heart looked fine so we are relieved not to have to face the situation of heart surgery.I don't want people to say that their sorry he has downs (if this is the case)when he's born. May well need to talk this through at some point before the birth - how will we cope. At the moment I'm not stressing but my dh does worry alot about what the situation will be. When he's not thinking this then I am.

MandM Tue 14-Jun-05 14:10:47

Thomcat - just out of interest, does the integrated test look solely at DS or does it also include other things?

Thomcat Tue 14-Jun-05 14:13:57

You've got a fab attitude milward, you're going to be just fine, no matter what happens. Great news his/her heart is okay. I'm here for you, whenever, CAT anytime and I'll give you my phone number as well if you prefer. that goes for you too Spangles, or anyone for that matter.

People do sometimes say 'oh sorry' when they hear Lottie has DS, but it's okay, they don't know any better and they aren't sorry for long, not when they can see and hear how great she is and no-one has and would ever say it when she's with me they can see for themselves that she's just like any other kid, only maybe just a teeny bit more adorable

Do you know milward, there are 100's of worse things that can happen and day to day having a child with DS doesn't mean anything. you have great support, more than you feel you deserve. I think mothers whose children have bad excema or asthma have a harder time than we do.

Anyway good luck, I widsh you a healthy and happy baby and you know where I am. TC xx

Thomcat Tue 14-Jun-05 14:16:03

Don't know actually, it's always DS that people talk about, I'm pretty sure it tests for other things, as in any chromosomal abnormalities, but they don't really mention them, it's just DS this, DS that, people are obsessed with it!

MandM Tue 14-Jun-05 14:25:15

Don't know if you remember, but dd has Williams Syndrome. Anyway, we're trying for No2 at the moment, and people are already mentioning testing to us, even though the risk of having two children with WS is virtually 0%! Am torn at the moment between the 'forewarned is forearmed' and the 'what will be will be camps'. I desperately want an NT experience this time round, as I know you do from reading some of your posts, but at the same time I know that having a child with WS (or DS, or any other SN for that matter) is nowhere near the end of the world! I just wish I was as blissfully unaware of this whole subject of testing as I was last time.

Thomcat Tue 14-Jun-05 14:34:14

Exactly same as that Mandm, I'm not about being forewarned, I'd rather not know and just get on with it, but DP is struggling and that's why we are seeing genetic consellors tonight. Sodding tests, we wouldn't be here now if it weren't for tests - DP all worried and me therefore being worried. If the tests weren't around we'd have no choice ad just be cracking on.

And the thing about amnios, if you got pregant and there was nothing wrong and you just didn't want it, what is the legal cut off point for a termination? it's before 20 weeks I'm sure.

MandM Tue 14-Jun-05 14:41:36

That's what I'm worrying about most. 20 weeks is a hell of a long time to be loving and carrying a child, to then be faced with a decision of termination or not.
And I have to say, that although I don't think I personally would terminate now, at this point in my life, I don't think there is any right or wrong on this subject. I fully respect that everyone's decision has to be right for them, at that particular point in time based on their own individual set of circumstances, and that this will never be constant throughout someone's life.
It's a crappy horrible subject isn't it?

geekgrrl Tue 14-Jun-05 14:46:28

it's 24 weeks generally TC (though apparently it is extremely difficult to find a surgeon who is willing to terminate a healthy pregnancy later than 16 weeks) - and up to birth if they find anything. I know someone who was offered a termination at 34 weeks when a very repairable heart defect indicating DS and other DS markers were discovered.

MandM Tue 14-Jun-05 14:54:55


Did they have the baby?

Thomcat Tue 14-Jun-05 14:58:48

It's a horrid subject, and one that wouldn't be had if these tests didn't exist! sigh.

Geekgrrl - and and . 34 weeks, dear God! That poor woman and her family to have been offered that, ugggghhhhhhh, that's just awful

geekgrrl Tue 14-Jun-05 15:07:56

yes they did have their baby - but it obviously added to her stress that DS seemed to be considered something so awful that a termination at 34 weeks would be offered.

Anyway, sorry to go off on a tangent on your thread spangles - I hope you enjoy your pregnancy whatever you decide to do. Don't let the myriad of tests ruin it for you.

expatinscotland Tue 14-Jun-05 15:10:43

34 weeks?! Aw, poor little baby!

MandM Tue 14-Jun-05 15:11:10

Oh thank god. I can go home from work happy now.

Anyway Spangles and Milward, good luck to both of you with your pregnancies and beautiful babies!

Thomcat Tue 14-Jun-05 15:26:24

Thank God all was ok, but like you say, so sad, and a=so disgusting that she was put through such stress by being offered a termination at 34 weeks becasue of DS . Anyway, this story at least had a happy ending.

highlander Tue 14-Jun-05 15:33:10

thomcat - amnio is performed between 15 and 18 weeks, preferably at 16.

expatinscotland Tue 14-Jun-05 15:42:43

Yeah but then they take weeks to come back with the results.

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