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Cases of Down’s syndrome halved by Danish screening programme

Posted in Diagnostic testing, Screening by Matt at WelcometoIllinois on November 27, 2008

A Danish national screening programme has apparently halved the number of children born with Down’s syndrome since it was introduced in 2000, according to this Press Association report.

The story, which is unfortunately light on medical details states that “British attempts to instigate a similar programme have been hampered by disagreements over screening techniques”.

It is not clear what techniques are used in the Danish programme, but the story states that “Danish women were offered a risk assessment for Down’s in their first trimester of pregnancy based on their age as well as simple medical tests” and “Before the new system the decision on whether to test a pregnant woman for Down’s was based only on their age and diagnostic tests were offered mainly to women older than 35.”

Either way the result of the screening programme is that “the number of babies diagnosed with the syndrome before birth… increased by 30%” while “the number of babies born with Down’s syndrome fell from 55-65 per year during 2000-4, to 31 in 2005 and 32 in 2006.”

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  1. […] medical experts are responding to this story from Denmark in which a national screening programme halved the number of children born with […]


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