The Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s recommendations for the management of patients with Down syndrome concern, in particular, areas such as mental health, dementia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and thyroid disease. The text of the guide was published in JAMA.
One strong recommendation presented is annual screening for dementia of the Alzheimer’s type starting at age 40 years.
Two recommendations relate to screening for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). According to the document, more frequent screening and early initiation are needed, since there is a high prevalence and early onset of diabetes in Down syndrome.
For asymptomatic patients, screening for T2DM (using glycated hemoglobin or fasting glucose) should be performed every three years from age 30 years, the guidelines state. For concomitant obesity – every three years, starting at age 21.
Screening for hypothyroidism is recommended every one to two years starting at age 21. Adults with Down syndrome should also be assessed for celiac disease symptoms annually, the document states.
Recommendations for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke, screening for obesity, and osteoporosis are consistent with similar recommendations for adult patients without Down syndrome.
Previously, researchers from the UK suggested that people with Down syndrome are at higher risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization and death. However, no special precautions or protection measures are currently provided for this group.