New Less Invasive Test for Down Syndrome

Blood test could provide a safer alternative for pregnant women.
1:42 | 10/18/11

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Transcript for New Less Invasive Test for Down Syndrome
We know that each year nearly 400000 parents to be get an amniocentesis. Even though it's not risk free they do -- among other things to learn if their babies at risk for Down's syndrome. But big -- tonight a new option a simple blood test. ABC's chief health and medical editor doctor Richard -- explains. When 36 year old Maria -- Dodi was expecting a child. She faced the stress so many parents face to cheaper child had -- since she dreaded the amniocentesis. A little anxious about procedure. Anxious because in -- are invasive. A needle is used to remove fluid from the mother's uterus. There's up to a 1% chance of miscarriage. The new blood test looks at the fetus is DNA in the mother's blood. There's no risk of miscarriage and the tests can be done just ten weeks into the pregnancy. Women who were over 35 have a one in 350 chance of having a baby with Down syndrome a one in thirty chance at their 45. Pregnant women could get the blood test first only if the results are positive -- they needed -- -- to confirm but if the results are negative no need. Sequenom the company producing the test says it's 98% accurate in predicting Down syndrome. And costs about the same as -- The only thing that I worry about with this test is that it really is only -- test for Down syndrome. And there are many many other chromosomal abnormalities that women are -- -- with koranic Villa sampling an amniocentesis. But some worry -- an easier test for Down syndrome could lead to more couples being pressured to have an abortion. Doctor Richard -- ABC news.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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