CNA Staff, Sep 6, 2020 / 12:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Only 18 children with Down syndrome were born in Denmark in 2019, the lowest number on record in the Scandinavian country, according to a new report from the Danish Central Cytogenetic Registry (DCCR).
The DCCR, whose statistics date back to 1970, is a national registry of people who have undergone prenatal or postnatal chromosomal tests, molecular genetic tests, or biochemical tests.
The 18 babies born with Down syndrome in Denmark last year represent 0.029% of total births. The CDC estimates that about 1 in 700 (0.14%) children in the U.S. is born with Down syndrome, or about 6,000 babies annually.
In Denmark, “the low number is probably an expression of a random fluctuation in numbers that are already quite small. But it should be followed by an important debate on society's approach to children with disabilities,” said Olav Bjørn Petersen, chief physician and professor of fetal medicine at Rigshospitalet and the University of Copenhagen
Denmark was the first country in the world to implement national free prenatal Down syndrome screening for all pregnant women.