If all four quads have down syndrome is there any chance that if the mother has more children will they have down syndrome as well? How is it that all four babies have down syndrome but no one else in the family does?


Down Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder that causes some degree of intellectual delay and may also cause heart defects and other health issues. The severity of these problems varies greatly. Down Syndrome affects about 3400 babies a year in the United States and according to the National Down Syndrome Society there are more than 400,000 individuals with Down Syndrome liv8ing in our country.  The three main risk factors for having a child with Down Syndrome are maternal age, a previous child born with Down Syndrome, and parents who are carriers of the gene causing the disorder. The risk of having a child with Down Syndrome increases with the mother’s age. Statistics provided by Easter Seals indicate that the risk at age 25 is 1 in 1250 and increases to 1 in 30 for mothers at age 45. Parents, like the ones you mention in your question, who have had one child with Down Syndrome have a slightly increased risk (about 1%) of having another child with the condition.  Since certain forms of Down Syndrome can be carried by one of the child’s parents, it is important that couples with an increased risk for having a child with the disorder receive prenatal screening and genetic counseling.