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The impact of legal termination of pregnancy and of prenatal diagnosis on the birth prevalence of Down syndrome in Denmark



The impact of legal termination of pregnancy and of prenatal diagnosis on the birth prevalence of Down syndrome in Denmark



Annals of Human Genetics 47(Pt 2): 123-131



A considerable reduction in number of livebirths for mothers over 35 was observed in Denmark from 1960 to 1980. Birthrates for those aged 35-39 fell by 58.8%, for those aged 40-44 by 78%. In 1979-1980 100 infants with Down syndrome were born among 116757 newborns, a birth prevalence of 0.86 per 1000, which was significantly lower than the incidence of 1.17 per 1000 when the prenatally diagnosed cases were included. The reduction was noticeable for the age group over 35 where it fell to 1.89 per 1000 for mothers 35-39 and 6.48 per 1000 for mothers over 40. The utilization of prenatal diagnosis was 72 per 100 livebirths for women 35 and older in the Copenhagen area and 56 per 100 livebirths for the rest of the country, with differences in different areas. The number of induced abortions for women 35 years and older was 9265 against 6597 livebirths. The estimated number of Down syndrome cases averted by unrestricted abortion was 61, twice the number prevented by amniocentesis (31), with the greatest impact for mothers over 40. An increased risk of Down syndrome for the age group 35-39 was observed when liveborn and prenatal cases were considered together showing an incidence of 6.89 per 1000, with the highest incidence in the Copenhagen area, 8.70 per 1000, more than double the incidence of 3.04 observed in Copenhagen from 1960 to 1971, for the same age group.

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Accession: 044656159

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 6224457

DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-1809.1983.tb00979.x


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