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In addition to the features mentioned under clinical features and associations, there are a number of conditions which can develop in later life, including:

  • recurrent upper respiratory tract infection
  • hypothyroidism (2)
    • patients with Down's syndrome have a higher prevalence ofautoimmune thyroid disease compared with the general population,with thyroid autoantibodies being found in 13-34% of patients with Down's syndrome
    • patients may develop hypothyroidism inchildhood or adulthood. Check TSH annually in adult patients with Down's syndrom
  • acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
  • the risk of solid tumours is reduced


  • 1) Hasle, H, Clemmensen, IH, Mikkelsen, M. (2000). Risks of leukaemia and solid tumours in individuals with Down's syndrome. Lancet, 355, 165-9.
  • 2) Siskind SM et al. Investigating hypothyroidism. BMJ2021;373:n993

Last edited 04/2021 and last reviewed 04/2021