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Coronado, CA
A 39-year-old female asked:

Late 30s couple ttc for 1st time. no family history of autism/downs & both fit & healthy. what is % of risk for autism/birth defects?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Johnnie Ham
Obstetrics and Gynecology 22 years experience
Birth defects : About 1-2%. Put another way though, worst case scenario, 49/50 times all is normal.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 50 years experience
If you'll be 39 at : Delivery, the chance to have a child diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth is 1 in 137 (a little < 1%); the chance to have a child diagnosed with any chromosome abnormality (including down syndrome) at birth is 1 in 83 (slightly > 1%). Autism risks ? with paternal age, low maternal folate (folic acid) levels esp. At conception-10 wks. & some prenatal infections like rubella or flu. Ask your OB @ screening.
Dr. Lisa Rankin
Dr. Lisa Rankin commented
ADHD and Autism 25 years experience
Make sure folate supplementation is implemented three months prior to conception. Find a provider for your child who has some knowledge of the interplay between genetics and environment and can advise along the way as your child develops.
Mar 23, 2013
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 50 years experience
Provided original answer
Amen to that! I think we need a national campaign to start daily folate supplements in women from puberty till post-menopause.
Mar 23, 2013

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Last updated Feb 18, 2015

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