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OBJECTIVE: To compare offer and uptake of prenatal screening for Down syndrome in women from different social and ethnic backgrounds. METHOD: A total of 4800 randomly selected women in England were sent a survey three months after they had given birth; 2960 women responded. Odds ratios (OR) for reported offer and uptake of screening comparing women by area deprivation and ethnicity were calculated. RESULTS: In all, 65% of women reported having screening; 89% reported being offered screening, and 69% of these reported taking up the offer. There was no evidence of a difference in the reported offer (adjusted OR = 0.88, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.65-1.19, p = 0.41) or uptake (adjusted OR = 0.84, 95% CI 0.66-1.06, p = 0.15) of screening for women living in the most deprived areas compared with other women. Asian women were less likely to report being offered screening than White women (adjusted OR = 0.61, 95% CI 0.39-0.94, p = 0.02) and were less likely to take up screening when offered (adjusted OR = 0.48, 95% CI 0.33-0.72, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: While most pregnant women in England are offered prenatal screening for Down syndrome, approximately 1 in 10 is not. Asian women are less likely than White women to report being offered Down syndrome screening and are less likely to have a screening test when offered.

Original publication




Journal article


Prenat Diagn

Publication Date





1245 - 1250


Down Syndrome, Ethnic Groups, Female, Humans, Logistic Models, Pregnancy, Prenatal Diagnosis, Socioeconomic Factors, Surveys and Questionnaires, United Kingdom