Down syndrome numbers confirm practitioner suspicions

New evidence suggests that the prevalence of Down syndrome in the U.S. is higher than had been previously thought. The CDC released a report Thursday that concludes that the number of cases of Down syndrome is one in every 733 live births. The report details the incidence of 18 common birth defects. Public health groups praised the announcement, saying it reflects the reality of what has become a growing problem. Unlike earlier surveys, which had examined limited data sets, this week's report looks at nationwide data. Experts attribute the increase to a number of factors, including the trend toward women having children later in life. The trend is being closely watched by obstetricians, who have faced a corresponding climb in litigation as the number of Down cases has increased.

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