4. Leukemia is More Common in Down Syndrome Patients
As noted before, certain risk factors are associated with having Down’s syndrome. The American Cancer Society says patients are “many times more likely” to develop forms of the blood cancer, including acute lymphocytic leukemia or acute myeloid leukemia. The overall risk factor is up to 3-percent in Down’s patients, it adds.
There’s also another condition called transient myeloproliferative disorder, which is a “leukemia-like condition” that strikes Down’s patients within their first month of life, adds the source. Fortunately, this condition often clears up on its own without medical intervention, it explains.
5. Life Expectancy is Improving
The World Health Organization (WHO) says in the early 1900’s, those born with this syndrome weren’t expected to make it past their 10th-year. However, that number is much more positive now – in fact, the organization notes 80-percent of adults with Down syndrome will reach their 50th-birthday at the least.
WHO notes there are factors that can impact the life expectancy of a Down syndrome patient. “The prognosis of Down Syndrome is variable depending upon the possible complications like heart defects, susceptibility to infections and development of leukemia,” it notes.
6. Patients are Living Fuller Lives
GlobalDownSyndrome.org explains that not only do many people with Down syndrome complete high school (public schools are required by law to provide appropriate education to Down syndrome patients), more patients are continuing on to post-secondary studies – and some colleges and universities have specially-designed programs.
Patients are more commonly holding down jobs (there are some popular actors with the syndrome), and they can volunteer and vote, it notes. Not only that, but some adult patients are able to live independently or with assisted living (children were once placed in institutions), “and a small but growing number have a romantic relationship and even get married,” adds the source.