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Michigan Passes Newborn Screening Law for Cystic Fibrosis

March 26, 2007

Newborns in Michigan will be screened for cystic fibrosis (CF), beginning in the fall of 2007. Michigan is the 36th state in the country, plus the District of Columbia, to join the roster of states that support routine CF screening at birth.

Research studies show that newborn screening for CF will likely improve and extend the lives of those born with CF. Specifically, early diagnosis allows affected infants to begin nutritional interventions immediately. In research studies on the benefits of newborn screening, these interventions have been shown to improve height, weight and cognitive function, as well as benefits in maintaining or improving lung function and life expectancy, and in reducing hospitalizations.

The Michigan Department of Community Health spearheaded the effort to require CF screening at birth and recommended that CF be added to the roster of diseases that were already screened in Michigan. Newborn screening for CF involves a blood test that searches for the most common defective gene in cystic fibrosis patients. Dr. Samya Naser, director of the pediatric CF care center at the University of Michigan Health System, will chair an implementation panel for the state.

The CF Foundation strongly urges all states to implement comprehensive programs for routine newborn screening for cystic fibrosis. Newborn screening is important because more than 10 million Americans are unknowing, symptomless carriers of a cystic fibrosis gene. And, most people who have a child with CF are not aware of a family history of the disease.

To read the full press release, click here.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau.