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States expand newborn screening for life-threatening disorders
Date:2/17/2009

ger depends on the state in which they are born."

March of Dimes will maintain its watchdog role on newborn screening, said Dr. Howse, and will continue to promote consistent guidelines nationwide, and to advocate for funding for the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act (P.L. 110-204). The intent of this legislation is to help improve state newborn screening programs by providing education for families and provide additional funding for follow-up and treatment for infants who test positive for disorders identified through screening.

The recent advent of tandem mass spectrometry provided the means to identify many conditions from one blood spot. In 2000, the March of Dimes recommended criteria for adding screens in an editorial published in Pediatrics and launched its advocacy efforts to require comprehensive newborn screening in every state at a time when most states screened for only four conditions. In 2005, the ACMG issued a report recommending that 29 screens be mandated for every newborn.

In 2005, the first year that the March of Dimes report card measured state-by-state requirements on expanded newborn screening, only 38 percent of infants were born in states that required screening for 21 or more of 29 core conditions. Today, as a result of years of intensive bi-partisan volunteer advocacy efforts led by March of Dimes chapters, nearly all babies born in the U.S. live in states that require screening for 21 or more of these treatable disorders. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia require screening for all 29 disorders, with more states expected to join them this year. In fact, 46 states and the District of Columbia screen for 26 or more of these conditions.

"Newborn screening saved Giana's life," said David Swift, of California, whose daughter was diagnosed with 3MCC (3-methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase deficiency) because of newborn screening. "It was only thanks to March of Dimes advocacy efforts that the hospita
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Contact: Elizabeth Lynch
elynch@marchofdimes.com
914-997-4286
March of Dimes Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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