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FM Lai, BH Woo, KH Tan, J Huang, ST Lee, BY Tan, BH Tan, SK Chew, GSH Yeo
Correspondence: Dr George S H Yeo, firstname.lastname@example.org
Objective To examine the livebirth prevalence rate of Down Syndrome in Singapore from 1993 to 1998.
Design Index cases for the National Birth Defects Register were obtained from all neonatal nurseries in Singapore, all hospital discharge summaries, cytogenetic and pathology reports from all pathology laboratories in Singapore and from the compulsory reporting of all termination of pregnancy cases and stillbirths delivered.
Setting Information for the Register was obtained from case notes retrieved from the medical record offices, antenatal clinics, cytogenetic laboratories, pathology departments and the Registry of Births and Deaths.
Subjects All foetuses with Trisomy 21 diagnosed prenatally together with livebirths and stillbirths with Down Syndrome diagnosed at or after birth were identified from the Registry database.
Main Outcome Measures Prevalence of Down Syndrome
Results From 1993 to 1998, there were 295 Down Syndrome livebirths, four stillbirths and 197 Down Syndrome foetuses aborted. There has been an increasing number of Down Syndrome foetuses diagnosed antenatally ending in termination and this is accompanied by a falling trend in the Down Syndrome livebirth rate in the same years from 1.17 to 0.89 per 1000 total live births. This is despite an expected increase in Down Syndrome livebirth rate obtained by modelling maternal Down Syndrome age-related risks on the maternal age distribution over the years.
Conclusion The livebirth prevalence of Down Syndrome in Singapore has fallen over the years from 1.17/1000 livebirths in 1993 to 0.89/1000 livebirths in 1998 due to antenatal diagnosis and selective termination.
Keywords: Down Syndrome, birth prevalence, national registry, modeling
Singapore Med J 2002; 43(2): 70-76