How does Down syndrome affect risk for medical conditions?

Babies born with Down syndrome are at greater-than-average risk for a number of medical problems. Following are medical conditions that are more common in people with Down syndrome:
  • heart defects
  • eye problems
  • hearing loss
  • sleep apnea
People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer's disease, childhood leukemia and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives.

This content originally appeared on the National Down Syndrome Society website.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.