FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 28, 2007
Contact: Laurie Fink, Director of Media Relations, lfink@cff.org; (301) 841-2602

Florida to Begin Newborn Screening for Cystic Fibrosis

State Joins 36 Others in Screening for Life-Threatening Genetic Disease

(Washington, D.C.) – The state of Florida will begin screening all newborns for cystic fibrosis (CF) starting July 1. Florida joins 36 other states in the country, plus the District of Columbia, to routinely screen for CF at birth.

“This is the right thing to do,” said Peter Hodge, a Boca Raton, Fla. father of two daughters with CF. Hodge’s 14-year-old daughter wasn’t diagnosed with the disease until she was a teenager. “We wish our daughter had been diagnosed at birth. That may have prevented some of the health damage she’s already suffered. I’m a big believer that knowledge is power and that newborn screening gives families that power.”

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects 30,000 children and adults in the United States. CF causes thick mucus to build up in the lungs and other organs, causing life-threatening infections and serious digestive complications.

Research shows that screening for CF will likely improve and extend the lives of those born with the disease. Early diagnosis allows for affected infants to begin therapeutic interventions immediately. These interventions have been shown to help people with CF to maintain or improve lung function, as well as increase life expectancy and reduce hospitalizations. Early intervention has been shown to improve height, weight, and cognitive function as well.

The CF Foundation strongly urges all states to implement comprehensive programs for routine newborn screening for cystic fibrosis.

About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the leading organization devoted to curing and controlling cystic fibrosis. CF is a genetic disease that can lead to life-threatening lung infections and digestive problems. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation funds CF research, has more than 80 chapter and branch offices throughout the country, and supports and accredits a nationwide network of CF care centers, which provide vital treatments and other CF resources to patients and families. For more information, visit www.cff.org.

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