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American College of Medical Genetics Applauds HHS Secretary's Decision to Expand Newborn Screening to Include Critical Congenital Heart Disease

BETHESDA, Md., Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) strongly supports the U.S. Health & Human Services (HHS) decision to make Critical Congenital Cyanotic Heart Disease (CCCHD) Screening a national newborn screening standard.

The Secretary's Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children ("Secretary's Advisory Committee") led by R. Rodney Howell, MD, FACMG had made the recommendations to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to add CCCHD to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel for newborn screening after an extensive, external scientific evidence review process and peer recommendations.  

"Congenital heart disease is the cause of approximately 3% of all infant deaths in the first year of life.  The new screening for CCCHD will include measuring blood oxygen saturation and will help detect heart defects which can then be treated early, which can prevent brain damage and even death," said Dr. Howell, who has championed Newborn Screening as chair of the Secretary's Advisory Committee for the past 8 years.

The ACMG and ACMG Foundation have been strong supporters of universal newborn screening for many years and provide education, training and information to professionals and the public about newborn screening.  Visit and for more information.

About the American College of Medical Genetics and ACMG Foundation
Founded in 1991, the American College of Medical Genetics ( advances the practice of medical genetics and genomics by providing education, resources and a voice for more than 1400 biochemical, clinical, cytogenetic, medical and molecular geneticists, genetic counselors and other healthcare professionals committed to the practice of medical genetics. ACMG's activities include the development of laboratory and practice standards and guidelines, advocating for quality genetic services in healthcare and in public health, and promoting the development of methods to diagnose, treat and prevent genetic disease. Genetics in Medicine, published monthly, is the official ACMG peer-reviewed journal. ACMG's website ( offers a variety of resources including Policy Statements, Practice Guidelines, Educational Resources, and a Find a Geneticist tool. The educational and public health programs of the American College of Medical Genetics are dependent upon charitable gifts from corporations, foundations, and individuals. The American College of Medical Genetics Foundation ( is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to funding the College's diverse efforts to translate genes into health.  The Foundation is dedicated to Better Health Through Genetics.™

SOURCE American College of Medical Genetics
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