The Center for Disease Control shared that Down syndrome is a condition some babies are born with and have the rest of their lives. Even though people with Down syndrome might act and look similar, each person has different talents and the ability to thrive. Learn about Down syndrome and about Mark, an adult living with the condition. You can also learn what CDC is doing to improve the lives of people with Down syndrome.
What is Down Syndrome?
People with Down syndrome are born with an extra chromosome. Chromosomes are small “packages” of genes in all cells of the body. Genes are the body’s instruction manual, telling each of the cells what to do. Genes shape a person’s traits such as eye color, blood type, and risk of disease. Genes also determine how a baby’s body forms during pregnancy and how the baby ‘s body functions as it grows in the womb and after birth. Typically, a baby is born with 46 chromosomes. Babies with Down syndrome have an extra copy of one of these chromosomes, chromosome 21, and thus they have an extra copy of all of the genes packaged in chromosome 21. The extra genes cause all of the features of Down syndrome. A medical term for having an extra copy of a chromosome is “trisomy,” so another name for Down syndrome is trisomy 21.
How Many Babies Are Born with Down Syndrome?
About 1 in 700 babies are born with Down syndrome in the United States.1 That’s about 6,000 babies with Down syndrome born in the United States each year. Read more