Ten-year trends in prevalence of Down syndrome in a developing country: impact of the maternal age and prenatal screening

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Objective This study examines trends in total and live birth prevalence of trisomy 21 (T21) with regard to increasing maternal age and the introduction of prenatal diagnosis in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Method The prenatal detection was introduced in January 2008 in 3 hospitals and assessed until December 31, 2015. In this study, 99 fetuses and 330 babies were diagnosed with T21 in the studied period. Results On average, each year 33 T21 individuals were born and 13 T21 fetuses were diagnosed prenatally. The calculated incidence for the live born T21 individuals in Bosnia is 1:999. The live-birth prevalence of T21 was 9.6 per 10,000 births and the total prevalence of T21 was 19.1. The total T21 prevalence increases exponentially with the advanced maternal age. Prenatal T21 prevalence is 1.29 per 10,000 births for mothers <35, but increases exponentially with increasing age (32 for >40 years). The most common indications for invasive prenatal testing were ultrasound screening combined with biochemical serum analysis followed by the advanced maternal age. Conclusion The prevalence of liveborn Down syndrome children remained constant. Despite the fact that increasing maternal age in the last decade contributed to the rise in the total T21 prevalence, the effect of the introduction of prenatal diagnosis on the live-birth T21 prevalence of T21 was minimal, leading to the conclusion that the prenatal screening has to be improved in developing countries.




Kurtovic-Kozaric, A., Mehinovic, L., Malesevic, R., Mesanovic, S., Jaros, T., Stomornjak-Vukadin, M., … Kozaric, M. (2016). Ten-year trends in prevalence of Down syndrome in a developing country: impact of the maternal age and prenatal screening. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 206, 79–83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejogrb.2016.08.038

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