Having an extra chromosome can muck things up a bit. Alongside some basic issues such as slower physical and mental development and a shorter than average adult height, there are some specific health-related problems that can occur early on. It doesn’t necessarily follow that they will however.
The list below is not exhaustive, but it gives some idea as to what the health issues for someone with DS may be.
Quite common. Statistics vary between 50% and even 80%, but not all cases are severe. Surgery is often indicated within baby’s first year.
The tube carrying food to the stomach (the oesophagus) or the tube leading to the bowel (the duodenum) may not develop properly.
Sleep apnoea (or apnea).
Excessively long pauses in breathing during sleep.
Eyesight problems (cataracts)
An underactive thyroid gland which doesn’t produce enough of the thyroxine hormone. Can commonly cause tiredness, weight gain and general slower development.
Down Syndrome children have a higher risk of having acute lymphocytic leukemia.