Severe genetic birth defects not as lethal as doctors once thought

Parents of newborns with rare genetic conditions used to hear the grim words that the severe birth defects were “incompatible with life.” Support groups and social media showing the exceptions have changed the landscape. So has mounting research suggesting that not all such babies are doomed to die.

The latest study focuses on trisomy 13 and trisomy 18 — genetic conditions that typically cause mental impairment, facial and organ abnormalities, breathing problems, heart defects and other medical problems. They involve extra copies of certain chromosomes.

Two decades of data from Ontario, Canada, illustrates how rare the conditions are and how most babies still die. Of the 428 babies born, only 65 — less than 20 percent — lived for at least a year. Twenty-nine survived at least 10 years. There’s little previous research on these children surviving that long, and the new results suggest the birth defects are not always as lethal as doctors have advised parents.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Severe birth defects are not as lethal as docs once said

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