Knowledge of the etiology of mongolism is still deficient. The main point of controversy seems to be whether genetic factors have any significance. Penrose1 and Hanhart2 are of the opinion that they do. Benda3 denies that heredity has anything to do with mongolism. We are of the opinion that genotypic factors, inherent in the embryo, play some yet obscure part in the etiology. Whatever may be the etiologic background of this condition, it is possible to calculate empiric risk figures, in the sense elaborated by the Rüdin school in Germany, which may be useful in counseling.
FREQUENCY OF MONGOLISM
In the Population.—
The frequency of mongolism among newborn infants is not exactly known. Penrose 1 gives an estimation of 1:600 births. Doxiades and Portius4 estimate the frequency in Northern Germany and Berlin at about 1: 7,000. This figure, however, accounts only for patients admitted to institutions
BOOK JA, REED SC. EMPIRIC RISK FIGURES IN MONGOLISM. JAMA. 1950;143(8):730–732. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910430022008
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