Is down syndrome genetic? causes and much more

Down syndrome is a disease that contrasts among individuals. No one has the same kind of symptoms, but most of them are common. With down syndrome, you can get lifelong disabilities. The person going through down syndrome may also go through learning disabilities and developmental delays. You can say it is the most common genetic disorder that can bring in multiple other medical conditions such as gastrointestinal and heart diseases. Is down syndrome genetic or not? What is prevention? What are the complications related to down syndrome? All these questions are answered in the following article.

The symptoms of down syndrome

Down syndrome is a genetic disease that is due to the abnormal division of cells that results in the extra copy of chromosome 21. Because of such a condition, there are changes in physical features and the development of a human being. In this article, you will learn more about the disease. Also, you will be able to find if down syndrome is genetic or not.
Every down syndrome individual may look the same with the physical features, but their conditions may differ from each other. Some of them may go through multiple problems related to the heart, while others may be healthy with no problems at all.
People with down syndrome have distinctive traits. The most common features include:

  • Short neck
  • Small ears
  • They have Short and broad hands
  • Short height
  • Short fingers
  • Exaggerated flexibility

In down syndrome, individuals may face language delays. Your long-term and short-term may also get affected because of such a condition.

The causes of down syndrome

Normally, a single cell of the human body contains 23 pairs of chromosomes. Each pair of chromosome contain 1 chromosome from your mother and one from your father.
The medical condition of down syndrome usually happens when there is an abnormal cell division in the 21st chromosome pair, causing an extra pair (partial or full) of chromosome 21.
Genetic fluctuations that cause down syndrome:
Trisomy 21
Trisomy 21 refers to a condition where instead of two, there are three copies of chromosome 21. This abnormal cell division usually happens during the development of egg cells or the sperm cell.
It happens when chromosome 21 gets attached to another chromosome (translocate).
Mosaic down syndrome
This is a very rare down syndrome where the individual only has some of the cells with the extra copy of chromosome number 21. It is a process that can occur after the fertilization of the baby.

Is down syndrome genetic?

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder, but it is not inherited. The only thing responsible for such a disorder is the abnormal division of cells while it is still in the development stages of the fetus.
In contrast with this, translocation down syndrome is inherited from one of the parents. But most of the down syndrome cases are from trisomy 21, and the percentage of such cases is negligible.

What are the risk factors?

Some people are at greater risk of getting a down syndrome baby. The following factors are mentioned below.

Women more than the age of 35:

The chances of delivering a baby with down syndrome increase with women’s age. It is because when an egg gets older, there are greater chances of improper cell division. That is to say, women, more than the age of 35 are at greater risk of delivering a down syndrome baby.

Couples already having one down syndrome baby:

The parents with one down syndrome baby already have translocation themselves. So there is a good chance that their second baby may also have the same disorder.

Genetic translocation carriers

It is not only specific to women, but both the genders can pass the genetic translocation to the children.

The complications related to down syndrome

Down syndrome is one kind of disease that brings in tons of other complications to the person facing it. The complications get more prominent when the individuals facing the disorder get older.
The most common complications are mentioned below.

Heart diseases/defects:
Most down syndrome people are born with some kind of heart defect. Such conditions can be threatening to the life of the individuals. It is critical to get the treatment at an early age.
Mostly down syndrome people are obese. They have a greater predilection of getting obese. More than the common population.
Immune disorders:
Many people experiencing down syndrome are at risk of getting affected with autoimmune disorders. Those diseases include multiple types of Infections such as pneumonia and different kinds of cancers
Gastrointestinal disorders
People with down syndrome are at a greater possibility of getting intestinal disorders. You can go through heartburn, Gastrointestinal blockage, and issues in the trachea, anus, intestine, and esophagus.
The young ones with down syndrome are at a high risk of getting affected by leukemia.
Multiple other issues
Individuals with down syndrome may get indulge in medical conditions like sleep apnea, dental problems, spinal problems, vision problems, hearing problems, seizures, endocrine issues, and also ear infections. They may also go through dementia in old age.

How long the people with down syndrome live?

Due to the medical advancement and proper care of such individuals, the age expectancy has increased drastically over the years. At this point in time, we can expect down syndrome people to live more than 60 years of age.


The answer to this question is that there is no prevention for down syndrome. If you have a child who is already going through such a condition and you are planning for a second child, it is pretty much important to visit a genetic counselor. The genetic counselor will help you learn the tendency of having a child with the same disability.


Till this time, I hope you can answer the question yourself ‘ is down syndrome genetic or not? ‘. This article has covered a wide range of topics that are related to down syndrome specifically.
If you are in search of a healthcare specialist or if you want to earn money by caring for your loved ones, you can check the services of the CDPAP program offered by us.

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