Scary Down's Syndrome Statistics?

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Sunday, January 02, 2011 | 0 comments

Baby smiling, bebe riendo. Stock Photo credit: pepoitanaPersonally I find the statistics we get about Down's Syndrome somewhat confusing. So I translated them into percentages. I think it is all too easy to think of 1-80 as one in 80%, but it is not. 1-80 translates to 1.25 % for DS, or 98.75% chance of not having Down Syndrome....

Maternal age as a risk factor for occurrence of Down Syndrome

Age...Stats...Percentage DS...Percentage not having Down Syndrome
36....... 1/200.......0.5% DS.............or 99.5% not
37........1/150.......0.666667%DS.....or 99.333333% not
38........1/120.......0.833333% DS....or 99.166667% not
39........1/100.......1%DS...................or 99% not
40........1/75 ........1.33333%DS........or 98.66667 % not
41........1/60........1.66667%DS........or 98.33333 % not
42........1/45........2.22222%DS.......or 97.77778 % not
43.........1/35 .......2.85714% DS......or 97.14286 % not
44.........1/30........3.33333% DS.....or 96.66667 % not
45+.......1/20........5% DS ...............or 95% not


What I get from this is that the chances of having a baby with Down's Syndrome does not go up as drastically as I had originally thought. The one in whatever numbers makes things look very bad for us. When I translated them however to percentages, they look a lot better. We have a better chance of having a baby without Down's Syndrome. If I had an illness and was told I had a 95% chance of getting better, I would not plan my funeral. Would you?

I think all too many doctors are giving misleading statistics for a couple of reasons. The first being that OB/GYN’s are the highest sued doctors in the US. So they pay the highest premiums. They do not want to take any chances of anyone saying they were not warned about DS so they push for Amnio’s. Second they get paid a lot to do Amnio’s. Unlike NT’s and Level Two sonograms, the OB/GYN that recommends them usually does them as well.

I got a bill for my amnio because the hospital miss filed it as “elective surgery”. I cleared it up and did not have to pay. The total was about 10,000 US dollars. Six thousand of which was going to my OB/GYN alone. So money is a factor as well. Who do you think ends up paying that high insurance rate?

NOTE: This article was written by my good friend Jillian from

Photo credit: pepoitana
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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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