Chromosomal abnormalities are common causes of birth defects that can affect neurological functions and various parts of the human body. Accounting for nearly 20% of all infant deaths, birth defects are the leading cause of infant mortality, according to the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention.
Three of the most common newborn aneuplodies are trisomies 13, 18, and 21. About one in 5,000 babies is born with trisomy 18, one in 16,000 is born with trisomy 13 and one in 700 babies is born with trisomy 21, the most frequently occurring chromosomal abnormality. Although women of all ages may have a child with trisomy 13, 18, or 21, the risk increases with advanced maternal age.
March was named National Trisomy Awareness Month to increase awareness of trisomy conditions and to provide resources and support to the trisomy community, as families are often ladened with uncertainty, anxiety, and sometimes, loss.