Reuters Article’s Information Supports our Down Syndrome Prenatal Testing Pamphlet

New non-invasive 10 week blood tests SHOULD NOT be offered to “low risk” pregnant women

A key message in our Down Syndrome Prenatal Testing Pamphlet launched last Wednesday is that new non-invasive 10 week blood tests have not been proven to be effective in “low risk” pregnant women. The often-heard 99% accuracy rate is only for “high risk” pregnant women defined as over 38 years of age, has had a different prenatal screening test showing that the chance of having a baby with Down syndrome is increased, or has one or more relatives with Down syndrome.

We are thrilled to tell you that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is emphasizing this point as well. Just yesterday, the ACOG Committee on Genetics published a statement that the new non-invasive 10 week blood tests “…should not be offered to low-risk women or women with multiple gestations because it has not been sufficiently evaluated in these groups.”

Further, as with our pamphlet, the committee statement underscores the new tests are NOT diagnostic but rather screening, and the test “…does not replace the precision obtained with diagnostic tests, such as CVS or amniocentesis…”

Today, Reuters published an article summarizing the ACOG Committee on Genetics statement with several experts emphasizing these tests as they stand today are not for low risk pregnancies.

The only fact the Global Down Syndrome Foundation would like to clarify from the Reuters article is what age “advanced maternal age” starts at. Historically the term “advanced maternal age” was used by ACOG to define what age a woman should be recommended to get a prenatal test (35 years of age). For these new non-invasive 10 week screening tests, the research defining advanced maternal age is not 35 years of age but rather 38.

A huge thanks to ACOG, their committee and Reuters for addressing and covering such important facts!

If you would like to thank Reuters for covering this important topic, you can write and thank Genevra Pittman.

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