Nationwide Screening Discrepancy
Newborns aren’t being screened for enough treatable genetic disorders, according to the March of Dimes.
Newborns aren’t being screened for enough treatable genetic disorders, according to the March of Dimes (MOD). Just 38 percent of U.S. babies get most of the tests the organization deems necessary. Only Mississippi, Iowa and New York screen for all 29 of the diseases (up recently from nine), which include such disorders as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell; some states screen for fewer than 10. To find out which tests your newborn will receive, ask your doctor or state health department, or visit www.genes-r-us.uthscsa.edu. “If your state doesn’t yet screen for the core 29 disorders, consider supplemental private testing,” says Nancy Green, M.D., medical director of the MOD. The test requires a small blood sample from your newborn’s heel and usually costs less than $100. Discuss private screening with your doctor before your due date.