Jacob, a child with Down Syndrome, enjoying a family holiday and browsing in shops, like any other 5 year old child wouldJacob looking at books and watching TV at age 6 years - Down Syndrome doesn't stop normal development, but social attitudes do. - Jacob, a baby with Down Syndrome - Jacob at one year of age

Down Syndrome Life Expectancy – From Conception On.

CONTENTS THIS PAGE ON DOWN SYNDROME LIFE EXPECTANCY:

1. Down Syndrome Life Expectancy – Introduction – 2. Down Syndrome Life Expectancy Statistics – 3. The main causes of shortened Life Expectancy During first year of life –   4. Main shortener of life expectancy after age 1 –  5. Down Syndrome life expectancy is also dependent on the intelligence of the person with Down Syndrome –  6. More Statistics about Down Syndrome life expectancy and the importance of correct Attitudes


1. Down Syndrome Life Expectancy – Introduction.

Down Syndrome life expectancy has been increasing substantially over time.

As parents of a kid with Down Syndrome, our generation is the first where Down Syndrome life expectancy is now long enough for our kids with Down Syndrome to out live us.

Before our generation, parents had the sad reality that the typical Down Syndrome life expectancy was so short, that they would be burying their kids with Down Syndrome.

Now, however, with the typical Down Syndrome life expectancy extending beyond the death of the parents, there has definitely been created new strains on parents and support workers, because now the kids with Down Syndrome have to be supported without any parental assistance for some years.

In many cases, the parental family assets may have already been liquidated to support the parents as they enter nursing homes and so on.

So, quite some challenging times ahead for the social planners and politicians I think. Now on to the many Down Syndrome life expectancy statistics.

Jacob, age 6, should have a long life expectancy as should most kids with Down Syndrome today.


2. Down Syndrome Life Expectancy Statistics:

According to emedicine, Down Syndrome life expectancy in utero is only a few weeks / months.

Three quarters of babies with Down Syndrome will die in utero – that is, before being born.

Down Syndrome life expectancy for babies and infants, sees approximately 15% dieing before one year of age.

Down Syndrome life expectancy for the next 35% will be death before 50 years of age.

Down Syndrome life expectancy for the remaining 50% is more than 50 years of age. [From other sources, Down Syndrome life expectancy for the remaining 50% is a bit of guess, but I would around the 55 to 65 years of age range.]


3. The main causes of shortened Life Expectancy During first year of life:

First and foremost, heart problems.

Second, problems with the digestive system can also be quite dangerous:

2a. Esophageal atresia is where the esophagus doesn’t connect to the stomach, but comes to a dead end – so any food eaten cannot be digested.

2b. In transesophageal fistula, the esophagus may connect to the lungs, causing some or all of the food or drink to enter the lungs.

2c. In Hirschsprung disease there is a functional obstruction in the colon, meaning that the solid body wastes cannot be eliminated, or not very well eliminated – again the condition, like the other digestive problems can be quite dangerous.

2d. Duodenal atresia, is another blockage, this time of the small bowel, which prevents the contents of the stomach from emptying out.

These health conditions are present at birth and are the main killers of peope with Down Syndrome in the first year of life.


4. Main shortener of life expectancy after age 1:

Starting around age 2 years, Leukemia – cancer of the blood or of the organs producing blood – can contribute to mortality.


5. Down Syndrome life expectancy has also been found to be dependent on the intelligence of the person with Down Syndrome.

Down Syndrome life expectancy of a 1-year-old kid with Down syndrome with IQ 45 to 70 – mild/moderate intellectual disabilities / retardation - was around 55 years.

With IQ 19 or below – profound mental retardation – Down Syndrome life expectancy was about 43 years. Based on research carried out by Strauss D, Eyman RK, 1996


6. Dr. David Patterson and Dr. Alberto C.S. Costa., 2005, had this to say about Down Syndrome life expectancy and related statistics:

1. Circa 1970, the median Down Syndrome life expectancy for a person was 12 months!

2. In the year 2005, Down Syndrome life expectancy had risen to a more respectable 49 years.

3. However, if the kid with Down Syndrome survives the first year of life, then that kid’s life expectancy jumps up another 11 years, with a median Down Syndrome life expectancy of 60 years.

The researchers also go on to say, that nearly all kids with Down syndrome are now raised at home by their parents instead of in the institutions of past generations.

kids with Down Syndrome also attend schools in inclusive or semi-inclusive settings; meaning they join in with the other kids.

Advances in medical care and changing attitudes appear responsible for the improvements for kids with Down Syndrome.

In the future, more appropriate interventions, therapies and treatments for those with Down Syndrome, may be forthcoming that allow people with Down Syndrome to maximise their potential to the fullest.


I think, from the above, that we can safely say, that this will also include an even better Down Syndrome life expectancy for the future.

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