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Down’s syndrome frequency doubles in Japan

Posted in Scientific research, Statistics, Surveys by Matt at WelcometoIllinois on December 23, 2008

In the past 25 years the frequency of babies born with Down’s syndrome has doubled, according to this report in The Manichi Daily News.

It could be a translation issue, but the use of the word ‘frequency’ suggests this isn’t just a matter of the number of cases of Down’s syndrome increasing in line with (or below the rate of) increases in birth rates in general.

The Manichi news report mentions this statistic in relation to a planned epidemiologic study to probe the connection between the environmental use of chemical substances and childhood illness.

It does not state whether the research will investigate the impact of the environment on the cause of Down’s syndrome, which would be interesting, or just look at the impact of the environment on children with Down’s syndrome.

The reports states:

“The ministry’s study will investigate the amount of chemical substances that enter children’s bodies and investigate the relationship with abnormalities in their immune systems, development disorders and other conditions. Assistance will be sought from about 60,000 pregnant women across the country from fiscal 2010. In addition to collecting umbilical blood, researchers will conduct regular examinations of children from around the time of their birth until they reach the age of 12 to determine their health status. The results of the survey are expected to be compiled in about 2025.”


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  1. kylewpa said, on September 16, 2011 at 2:12 pm


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