Objectives: This study aimed to define the incidence of Down’s syndrome and to describe the epidemiology of cardiac lesions in Jamaican children with Down’s syndrome.
Study Design: A prospective study was conducted on 53 infants during the period January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007, at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Kingston, Jamaica. A medical history, physical examination and echo Doppler was performed on each child.
Results: Forty-six thousand babies were born in Jamaica in 2007, of which 53 infants were diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, giving an incidence of 1:868. Forty-two (79.2%) infants had congenital heart lesions. Of the 42 patients with cardiac lesions, 50% had an isolated cardiac lesion while 50% had multiple defects. The most common single defect was the atrioventricular septal defect found in 10 (24%) patients. The most frequent concomitant malformation was a patent ductus arteriosus, found in 16 (38.1%) of the patients. The median age of diagnosis with Down’s syndrome was 0.14 weeks (interquartile range (IQR) 0 to 68 weeks). The median age of diagnosis with the cardiac lesion was 15.1 weeks (IQR 0 to 40.0 weeks).
Conclusions: The incidence of Down’s syndrome in Jamaica is similar to the reported international experience. The distribution of cardiac malformations is similar to other countries; however, the main difference is the higher incidence of congenital heart disease and a higher incidence of combined lesions.