prognosis

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  • the average life expectancy for a person with Down’s syndrome is between 50 and 60 with a small number of people living into their 70s (1)

  • most common cause of death in childhood and adulthood remains respiratory infection, in part related to immunodeficiencies (2)
    • congenital heart defects cause most deaths in early childhood, and although coronary artery disease occurs in adults, it is less common than in the general population. Dementia contributes to mortality in some studies
    • people with Down's syndrome are at increased risk for cardiac defects and certain blood diseases, such as leukemia during childhood, autoimmune disorders and recurrent infections, and are at a markedly increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD)

  • life expectancy for people with DS has more than doubled over the past 30 years, their increased risk for AD has become an important concern (3)
    • virtually all adults with Down's syndrome develop neuropathology consistent with AD by their 40s and by age 55–60 years, their current lifespan, at least 70% will develop dementia (3)

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Last edited 06/2020 and last reviewed 06/2020