Down Syndrome: Medical Concerns and Comorbid Disorders

Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal disorder, affecting approximately 400,000 individuals in the United States. Down syndrome is caused by the presence of an extra copy of all or part of chromosome 21. That additional genetic material places individuals with Down syndrome at increased risk for intellectual and developmental disorders and for specific health problems and comorbid disorders.

As recently as 1983, the life expectancy for individuals with Down syndrome was 25 years, but with advances in medical care life expectancy is now 60 years of age. It is critical that health care professionals and caregivers understand the common medical concerns and comorbidities associated with Down syndrome in order to provide proactive and optimal intervention and improve quality of life across the lifespan. Leaving these ...

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