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Offer and uptake of antenatal screening for Downs syndrome in women from different social and ethnic backgrounds

Principal investigator
Rachel Rowe (NPEU)
David Puddicombe (NPEU (Former member)), Maggie Redshaw (NPEU (Former member))
Antenatal care
DH - Policy Research Programme
Start year
End year


The aim of the study was to compare the offer and uptake of antenatal screening for Down's syndrome in women from different social and ethnic backgrounds using the data from the National Maternity Survey of recent mothers (n=2960 respondents). The main outcome measures reported offer and uptake of screening, comparing women by area level of deprivation and by ethnicity. Key findings: *Nearly two thirds of women (65%) reported having screening * A total of 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 or uptake 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 and were less likely to take up screening when offered. It was concluded that 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.


Journal Articles