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Ukrainian-American Birth Defects Program

Prevalence of Down Syndrome in Western Ukraine 2000-2001

Nataliya Yuskiv1, Svitlana Polishchuk1, Lyubov Yevtushok2, Tetyana Vihovska1, Hanna Mikulska3, Hryhoriy Vaschylin1, Wladimir Wertelecki4, Godfrey Oakley5

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1Volyn Regional Children Territorial Medical Center (Lutsk, Ukraine), 2Rivne Medical Diagnostic Center (Rivne, Ukraine), 3Health Care Department of the Volyn State Administration (Lutsk, Ukraine), 4Department of Medical Genetics of the University of South Alabama (Mobile, Al, USA), 5Department of Epidemiology of the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University (USA)


In 2000, the Ukrainian-American Birth Defects Program established population - based surveillance of birth defects in Rivne and Volyn oblasts of western Ukraine. There were 26,004 births in the two oblasts in 2000. There were 28 Down Syndrome births for a rate of 1.08 per 1000 births. Eight of 28 (28.57%) of the cases of Down Syndrome were born to women over 34 years of age. Based on the distribution of live births in Volyn Oblast in 2001 and the maternal age specific rates of Down Syndrome in metropolitan Atlanta 1968-1976, we estimated we should have observed 11.3 cases of Down syndrome and that 26.4% of them would be to born to women over 34. (1) The observed number of Down Syndrome cases was 12. Twenty-five percent of them were born to women over 34. Prenatal screening of Down Syndrome is virtually absent. These results suggest that Down Syndrome in western Ukraine occurs at a rate expected for the current maternal age distribution of births. These data also suggest that this surveillance system is able accurately to monitor the prevalence of Down syndrome. We will present similar data from all births in the two oblasts for the years 2000 and 2001.


Partially funded by

USAID Cooperative Agreement

1.       Adams, MM, Erickson, JD, Layde, PM and Oakley, GP.  Down's Syndrome.  Recent Trends in the United States.  JAMA 1981;246:758-760.


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23/April/2002 SL