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Grandmaternal ages at birth of parents of children with Down syndrome in st. Petersburg
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Advanced maternal age is a well-established factor of DS occurrence. However the majority of DS cases are born to young couples. Some studies suggested that the risk for Down syndrome may be related to an aging grandmother. We obtained data on grandmaternal ages in 243 families of DS and 330 families of healthy children born in 1990–1999. The data were analyzed according to two categories of maternal ages, <30 yr and ≥30 yr. We did not find systematic differences in grandparental age distribution between the studied groups. Specifically, in 102 young couples with DS, medians for both maternal and paternal grandmother’s age appeared to be equal (26 yr). Similar figures were observed in 284 young controls (27 yr). There was no difference in age distribution between 141 older couples with DS and 104 control couples. Therefore we failed to support the suggestion that advanced age of the DS grandmother is responsible for meiotic disturbance in her daughter. Neither the hypothesis suggesting a significant contribution of parentally transmitted trisomy 21 to DS population rate has been confirmed.
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