Edwards' Syndrome

By: Clementine Miller

What is it?

Edwards' Syndrome or Trisomy 18 is a genetic disorder caused by an error in cell division or a present whole or part 18th chromosome. It is named after John Hilton Edwards, who first discovered it in 1960. Only 1 out of 3,000 infants are affected and 1 out of every 6,000 affected infants is actually born with this the syndrome. Also 80% of Edwards' syndrome patients are females.


Children born with this disease are weak and fragile and are most likely underweight. Their heads are usually too small and their eyes are really low on their head. Also, the mouths and jaw are small. They may have problems with their lungs and diaphragm. Heart disease is common in patients with this disease.

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Future Pregnacies

There is about a one 1% chance of conceiving a baby with Trisomy 18 in a future pregnancy. This percentage slowly increases for mothers over the age of 35.


Surgery can treat part of the syndrome but not all of it, therefore there is technically no cure for Edwards Syndrome.

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This disease is inherited and cannot be prevented. But parents who have had a child with Edwards' syndrome are most likely at a greater risk of having another child with the syndrome.