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Medical aspects of school-aged children with Down syndrome.

Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology

Quality of Life, Child, Chronic Disease, Disabled Children, Down Syndrome, complications, Family Health, Female, Health Status, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Male

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      Current and comprehensive information about the medical issues affecting children with Down syndrome (DS) is of value in counselling parents who are considering prenatal diagnosis and in planning services for people with DS as they age, especially given the continued improvements in their survival. Parents of school-aged children (mean age 11.37 years, 57.3% male, 42.7% female) with DS were identified by linking registers from the Disability Services Commission and the Birth Defects Registry. Less than half the children had cardiac and bowel conditions. More than half had ear conditions and more than three quarters had eye conditions. Ear, nose, and throat professionals were the specialists seen most often and the rate of tympanostomy tube insertion was nearly 17 times that of the general childhood population. Children with DS were over five times more likely to wear glasses than other children. These findings suggest that chronic, non life-threatening conditions impose a burden on families but do not threaten quality of life.

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