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December 4, 1972

Nondisjunction in Males: Commoner Than Suspected?

Author Affiliations

State University of New York Upstate Medical Center Syracuse, NY

JAMA. 1972;222(10):1311-1312. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03210100059031

To the Editor.—  The idea that the mother is responsible for all trisomic conditions is commonly encountered from both patients and members of the medical profession. At the risk of striking a blow against the forces of male chauvinism, we think that nondisjunction in spermatogenesis may be playing a greater role in the etiology of Down's syndrome and other trisomies than is commonly thought.Shuttleworth, in his work Mentally Deficient Children (London, HK Lewis & Co, 1895), was the first to observe that children with mongolism tend to be born to older parents. Jenkins1 showed that the incidence of mongolism increases with increasing age, both of the father and of the mother, and that the age of the mother was a better predictor of occurrence of the syndrome. By the use of the partial correlation technique followed by regression analysis in a population of 150 families, a study by