Newborn screening to now include test for cystic fibrosis

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:57 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY — The state is expanding its newborn screening program to also check for cystic fibrosis, health officials said Tuesday.

The state’s newborn screening program tests all babies born in Missouri for more than 20 rare, but serious, health conditions.

The new screening began Friday. The Department of Health and Senior Services estimated that about 25 infants a year would be confirmed as having cystic fibrosis in Missouri.

People with cystic fibrosis have a defective gene, and the body produces unusually thick mucus that can lead to life-threatening lung infections.

Missouri now tests babies for all but one of the 29 conditions recommended by the American College of Medical Genetics. The state expects to start testing for the remaining one, biotinidase deficiency, in the next year.

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