Health problems and health checks in school-aged children with Down syndrome

J Paediatr Child Health. 1992 Oct;28(5):383-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.1992.tb02697.x.


A survey by parent questionnaire and interview was carried out to determine the frequency of health problems in 204 children with Down syndrome. Seventy-two children (35.3%) had a congenital heart defect. Refraction had been performed on 196 and 68 (34.6%) of these had a refractive error. A diagnosis of 'glue ear' had been made in 112 (54.9%) and in 12 (11%) of these permanent hearing loss was present. Significant ill-health over the previous 12 months consisted of cardiac failure (two children), more than three upper respiratory tract infections (24 children), bronchitis (eight children), pneumonia (two children) and asthma (seven children). A neck X-ray had been performed in 172 (84.3%) and had demonstrated the presence of atlanto-axial instability in 12 (7%) of these. One hundred and thirty-two (64.7%) of the children had been tested for hypothyroidism in the previous 18 months and this had been found in four (3%) of these children. The implications of these and other findings are discussed in relation to parental counselling and planning of routine health checks.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Down Syndrome / complications*
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / complications
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / complications
  • Male
  • New South Wales
  • Physical Examination*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / etiology