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Health & Baby

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Most U.S. Newborns Get Screening Tests

But Some States Still Lag in Screening Newborns for Birth Defects
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

July 11, 2007 - The March of Dimes reports that nearly 90% of U.S. newborns now get recommended screening for serious disorders -- up from 38% only two years ago.

In 2004, the American College of Medical Genetics recommended that every newborn baby be screened for 29 genetic or functional disorders such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, and hearing loss.

By 2005, only 38% of babies were born in states that required 21 or more of these tests. That percentage has swelled to nearly 90% in 2007.

But a half million U.S. babies still are born in states that required screening for only 10 of the 20 core conditions.

That's too bad -- because if diagnosed early, all of these conditions can be managed or treated to prevent devastating consequences.

Currently, the March of Dimes reports that 13 states and the District of Columbia require screening for all 29 conditions.

But some states that have been lagging are catching up quickly. Montana, Kansas, and West Virginia have enacted legislation -- to be implemented next year -- that will require screening for all core conditions.

Here's the March of Dimes' state-by-state list of the number of the 29 conditions for which each state currently requires screening:

  • Alabama: 21
  • Alaska: 29
  • Arizona: 27
  • Arkansas: 7
  • California: 26
  • Colorado: 29
  • Connecticut 28
  • Delaware: 29
  • District of Columbia: 29
  • Florida: 28
  • Georgia: 28
  • Hawaii: 28
  • Idaho: 28
  • Illinois: 28
  • Indiana: 28
  • Iowa: 29
  • Kansas: 7
  • Kentucky: 29
  • Louisiana: 28
  • Maine: 24
  • Maryland: 29
  • Massachusetts: 12
  • Michigan: 27
  • Minnesota: 29
  • Mississippi: 29
  • Missouri: 28
  • Montana: 6
  • Nebraska: 10
  • Nevada: 27
  • New Hampshire: 12
  • New Jersey: 23
  • New Mexico: 29
  • New York: 29
  • North Carolina: 26
  • North Dakota: 28
  • Ohio: 28
  • Oklahoma: 10
  • Oregon: 23
  • Pennsylvania: 9
  • Rhode Island: 29
  • South Carolina: 28
  • South Dakota: 28
  • Tennessee: 26
  • Texas: 27
  • Utah: 28
  • Vermont: 28
  • Virginia: 29
  • Washington: 12
  • West Virginia: 7
  • Wisconsin: 28
  • Wyoming: 29

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