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Hum Genet. 1982;61(4):318-24.

Rates of trisomies 21, 18, 13 and other chromosome abnormalities in about 20 000 prenatal studies compared with estimated rates in live births.


Data were analyzed on the results of 19675 prenatal cytogenetic diagnoses reported to two chromosome registries on women aged 35 or over for whom there was no known cytogenetic risk for a chromosome abnormality except parental age. The expected rates at amniocentesis of 47, + 21; 47, + 18; 47, + 13; XXX; XXY; XYY; and other clinically significant cytogenetic defects by maternal age were obtained from a regression analysis on the observed rates, using a first degree exponential model. After an adjustment for maternal age, these rates were compared with previously estimated rates by maternal age in live births. The rates of 47, + 21 at amniocentesis and live birth are approximately parallel, with the latter about 80% of the amniocentesis rates. The rates of 47, + 18 at amniocentesis and live birth are approximately parallel, with the live birth rates about 30% of the amniocentesis rates, consistent with high fetal mortality of 47, + 18 after amniocentesis. The rates of 47, + 13 at amniocentesis indicate an increase in maternal age that is not as marked as that previously estimated in live births. The rates at amniocentesis for XXX and XXY increase with maternal age, with the rates of XXY almost identical to those estimated previously in live births, suggesting no late fetal mortality of XXY. The rates of XYY show a slight decrease with maternal age also consistent with little late fetal mortality of XYY. No consistent trend with age is seen for the pooled group of other clinically significant defects.

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