Climate Change Project

Table of Contents



<< >> Up Title Contents

MSAFP and Down Syndrome

The first widely available postconception test was for Down syndrome. This condition becomes more common with increasing age of the pregnant woman, reaching a level of 1 per 11 births at a maternal age of 48. Because testing for Down syndrome requires amniocentesis, with its attendant costs and risks, in women without specific risk factors the test is recommended only for those over 34 years of age. This is an arbitrary figure, however, because the risk rises relatively smoothly from the age of 21. As a result, approximately 80 percent of cases of Down syndrome occur in babies born to women under age 35. Once most pregnant women were being screened for MSAFP, it was found that an abnormally low level of MSAFP indicates an increased probability of Down syndrome. This information can be used to identify women under age 35 who should be offered amniocentesis for potential Down syndrome.[185]

[185]ACOG Technical Bulletin 154: Prenatal Detection of Neural Tube Defects. April 1991.

<< >> Up Title Contents

Law and the Physician Homepage
Copyright 1993 - NOT UPDATED

The Climate Change and Public Health Law Site
The Best on the WWW Since 1995!
Copyright as to non-public domain materials
See DR-KATE.COM for home hurricane and disaster preparation
See WWW.EPR-ART.COM for photography of southern Louisiana and Hurricane Katrina
Professor Edward P. Richards, III, JD, MPH - Webmaster

Provide Website Feedback - https://www.lsu.edu/feedback
Privacy Statement - https://www.lsu.edu/privacy
Accessibility Statement - https://www.lsu.edu/accessibility