Some tips for caregivers of adults who have Down syndrome about what to look for and talk to doctors about.
Age-related hearing loss is more common among adults with Ds & appears to have an earlier age of onset.
Few are identified or treated
May be associated with childhood ear problems
Early onset: age 45 - 52 (4 to 6 years earlier than general population)
Implications for health:
Menopause is a risk factor for:
Occurs in between 46 to 57% of adults with Ds
Not linked to previous heart problems
Osteoporosis is common among adults with Ds & adults are at greater risk as they age
Degenerative osteoarthritis is also common among adults with Ds
Osteoarthritis of the spine affects
22% of middle age adults
40% of elderly adults
A significant portion of adults with Ds are reported to be overweight.
Between 45-79% of males
between 56-96% of females
with Ds are reported to be overweight.
The rate of seizures increases with age for individuals with Ds.
Dementia may be an important risk factors for late-onset seizures in adults with Ds.
premature graying of the hair,
hair loss & wrinkling of the skin.
Be on the look-out for:
atopic dermatitis, fungal infections, seborrhoeic dermatitis, and xerosis.
Up to 94% of adults with Ds suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.
increased risk of stroke
impaired cognitive function
Approximately 35 - 40% of adults with Ds are reported to have abnormal thyroid function.
Thyroid functioning should be consistently & routinely monitored in adults with Ds.
Visual impairments & eye abnormalities are common among aging adults with Ds & tend to be undiagnosed & uncorrected.
Check early & often for:
personality and behavioral changes
decrease in cognitive and language ability
By 40 years of age, virtually all individuals with Ds have neuropathological changes that are consistent with AD
Not every individual with Ds will develop dementia