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The latest Down’s syndrome statistics from England and Wales

Posted in Diagnostic testing, Screening, Statistics, Termination by Matt at WelcometoIllinois on April 5, 2009

I just noticed that the UK’s National Down Syndrome Cytogenetic Register has published its latest annual report sometime in the last two months.

I haven’t seen any reporting of the latest statistics in the mainstream press – quite possibly because they contradict the false accounts of earlier statistics that were widely reported late last year.

UPDATE – The mainstream press picked up on these statistics six months later – UPDATE

The Register has changed to financial years for its reporting (presumably the UK government’s financial year, ending March 31) which makes direct comparison with the figures used in those reports impossible, however these are the preliminary stats from the current report (PDF):

  • In 2007/8 there were 1,843 diagnoses of Down’s syndrome In England and Wales, of which 60% were prenatally diagnosed.
  • In 2007/8 there were an estimated 743 Down’s syndrome live births, a live birth rate of 1.2 per 1000.
  • Between 1989/90 and 2007/08 there has been a 72% increase in the number of diagnoses of Down’s syndrome in England and Wales from 1,075 to 1,843.
  • The number of live birth has fluctuated over the years but overall has decreased by 1%, from 752 to 743.


Morris JK, The National Down Syndrome Cytogenetic Register 2007/8 Annual Report. Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Queen Mary University of London 2009.

Since the register started collecting data on 1st January 1989 the annual number of Down syndrome diagnoses has increased steadily, firstly due to the considerable increases in maternal age, the major known risk factor of the condition, and secondly due to the increase in the numbers of DS pregnancies diagnosed prenatally, many of whom were non-viable and would have miscarried and therefore remained undiagnosed in the absence of prenatal screening.

The report also indicates that as screening has become more widespread the percentage of prenatally diagnosed cases that result in termination has been on average 91.4%, with a low of 88.4% (1990/91) and high of 93.2% (1989/90 and 1993/94).

The latest also notes that “The register is funded by the National Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme until March 2009. The Department of Health is then funding the NDSCR for only 1 year until March 2010.” It’s not clear what will happen to it after that.


8 Responses

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  1. rickismom said, on April 13, 2009 at 7:15 am

    I left you a blog award on my blog.

  2. CJ said, on April 15, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    I just found your site and love it! I run the T21 Traveling Afghan Project and I was wondering if you would post about it on the site for your readers. We are trying to grow the project in an attempt to foster Down syndrome awareness and unite families from all over the world.

    In short, one afghan travels with a journal from one family to another and they take pictures of their child with the afghan. The pictures are then put on the project blog and our Facebook group. We are nearing 200 families, but have more states and countries to cover.

    Please visit our blog and consider getting involved and helping us promote this project!

    Thank you!!

  3. […] a comment » Back in April I reported on the latest statistics on Down’s syndrome births in England and Wales from the UK’s […]

  4. […] the NHS’s figures only relate to abortion forms. The issues is significant since, as I noted earlier this year, the NDSCR’s funding is due to expire in March next […]

  5. […] is an enormous increase. Consider that, according to UK statistics, the number of children born with Down’s syndrome in the England and Wales decreased 1% […]

  6. Anticomm » Brain Drain said, on April 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    […] Professional people delay having families to their biological age limits, and in many cases even beyond.  More than 70% employment agencies were asked by clients to avoid hiring pregnant women or […]

  7. Anthea said, on July 27, 2011 at 11:09 am

    How many people in the UK have Downs Syndrome?

    Anybody know, where can I find out? – Statistics office register useless and Downs Assocn., – neither have any figures)

    (Include babies, children and adults, als whole UK, ie. England, Scotland, N.Ireland & Wales)

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