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New test for Down’s syndrome may reduce miscarriage risk: BMJ

A new DNA blood test to identify if a woman is carrying a baby with Down's syndrome could eliminate the need for invasive procedures such as amniocentesis, according to the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

The new test analyses the genetic material DNA to predict if the women is carrying baby with Down’s syndrome.

Researchers used a DNA test to analyse blood samples from 753 high-risk pregnant women in Hong Kong, the UK and the Netherlands.

The study results showed that the test was highly accurate in detecting Down’s syndrome, and it did not miss any cases.

Invasive testing such as amniocentesis, which involves inserting a needle into the mother’s abdominal wall to extract amniotic fluid, can increase the risk of miscarriage.

According to researchers, the new DNA blood test could bring this risk down to 0.1% and can enable pregnant women to avoid almost all invasive procedures.