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This Number Shows the Stark Effects of Systemic Racism on People With Down Syndrome

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A diagnosis of Down syndrome used to mean a death sentence. Medical advances, awareness, and education have made huge changes in the life expectancies of those with Down syndrome, but those changes have not been the same across all skin colors.

In 1968, the median life expectancy of a person with Down syndrome in the US was 1-2 years. Over the course of 30 years, it grew to 50 years for those who were White, but only 25 years for those who were Black.

The results were duplicated in numerous studies. Researchers have torn apart any data related to the subject they could find, but ultimately came up empty-handed.

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