Patients with Down syndrome are seen by most if not all practicing pediatricians, and most live to adulthood. While we are well aware of the medical issues in these patients, we are less equipped to provide long-range information regarding longevity. Fortunately, Rankin et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-3051) have addressed this concern with a study being early-released next week describing survival status of Down syndrome patients at 20 years of age. The authors used data from the UK Northern Congenital Abnormality Survey from 1985 to 2003 and then estimated a 20 year survival. They provide information you may find helpful in terms of predictors of survival that can help you and the family of a Down syndrome patient to plan for future health care needs in a more knowledgeable way.
And while we are on the subject of better understanding the needs of patients with Down syndrome, Adelekan et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-1262) help us know more about the lipid profiles of children with Down syndrome compared to their siblings, in another study we are releasing this week. The results suggest a worrisome lipid profile for many children with Down syndrome, but just how worrisome awaits your review of this must-read article.