Women aged 35 and older are at risk of giving birth to children with Down syndrome, says doctor
Women who have their first children after 35 years of age and older are at risk of having children with Down syndrome.
Dr. Yashim Andrew, a hematologist at the National Hospital in Abuja, made the announcement in Abuja on Thursday when he spoke to the Nigerian News Agency (NAN).
Down syndrome is a condition in which the fetus develops an extra chromosome during development in the womb.
Chromosomes are small “packets” of genes in the body. They determine how the baby’s body is formed during pregnancy and how it functions during growth in the womb and after birth.
Usually a baby is born with 46 chromosomes. Children with Down syndrome have an extra copy of one of these chromosomes, chromosome 21.
This extra copy changes the way the baby’s body and brain develops, which can cause both mental and physical problems in the baby.
“Despite the fact that doctors do not know what is causing this, they do know that women 35 and older are more likely to have children with Down syndrome.
“The likelihood of this condition actually increases as women get older before having children,” she said.