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For people with Down syndrome, family members, caregivers and professionals.

Heart Disease in Adults with Down Syndrome Between 1996 and 2016

November 2020 | Fitzpatrick et al. - Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine (2020)


Purpose: To describe demographic factors and calculate prevalence of heart disease-related conditions among the adult Down syndrome (DS) sample population and to compare demographic and heart disease-related conditions between the DS sample population (n=2342) and the general population.

Methods: Using a retrospective, descriptive cohort study design, analyses were based on 20 years of data collected on the Adult Down Syndrome Center patient population. Prevalence of heart disease, stroke, and associated risk conditions are reported as counts (%) with corresponding odds ratio (OR) indicating odds of diagnosis among the DS sample compared with the general population. Corresponding Pearson cP-values were calculated to represent statistically significant differences between prevalence of diagnoses in the DS sample compared with the general population. In cases where prevalence was low, Fisher's Exact Test P-values were calculated.

Results: Adults with DS had lower odds of diagnosis of heart disease and most associated risk conditions, specifically coronary heart disease (OR=0.0537, P < .0001), heart failure (OR=0.6353, P=.0091), hypertension (OR=0.0325, P<.0001), diabetes (OR=0.4840, P<.0001), and high total cholesterol (OR=0.2086,P<.0001), while experiencing higher odds of overweight status (OR=1.2185, P=.0002) and obese status (OR=1.3238, P<.0001).

Conclusion: Adults with DS generally experience less heart disease and associated risk conditions commonly seen in the general population. Prevention and treatment guidelines for heart disease for the DS population should be adjusted after more research is conducted.

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