Every state requires newborn babies to receive health checks. But requirements vary widely among the states, according to the March of Dimes.
"Parents need to know that the extent of newborn screening for serious and treatable disorders depends entirely on the state in which their baby is born," says March of Dimes President Jennifer Howse, PhD, in a news release.
Dozens of states require expanded newborn screening. But only Mississippi requires all 29 tests recommended by experts, reports the March of Dimes.
The tests include metabolic conditions, cystic fibrosis, and hearing problems.
States Requiring the Most Tests
Here are the 23 states requiring more than 20 tests:
Alaska: 27 tests Connecticut: 28 Delaware: 25 Hawaii: 28 Idaho: 27 Illinois: 27 Indiana: 28 Iowa: 28 Maryland: 27 Mississippi: 29 Nevada: 27 New Jersey: 22 New York: 28 North Carolina: 25 North Dakota: 26 Ohio: 26 Oregon: 22 South Carolina: 27 South Dakota: 27 Tennessee: 26 Vermont: 24 Wisconsin: 28
Minnesotanow requires 27 tests but has not implemented all of them.
'More Work Remains'
"There is a growing understanding that newborn screening is a simple, safe, and efficient way to prevent a potentially devastating problem," says Howse. "However, much more work remains to be done."
For instance, Howse notes only eight states require screening for cystic fibrosis in infants, "despite the fact that CF is one of the most common genetic diseases in America.
"We urge continued expansion of newborn screening programs so that all babies across America will receive the benefits of testing for all of these 29 core conditions," she says.
Screening is done by testing a few drops of blood, usually from the newborn's heel, prior to hospital discharge.
Here are the rankings for the remaining states plus Washington, D.C., according to the March of Dimes.
Requiring 10-20 tests:
Alabama:17 Arizona: 10 Colorado: 9 (expanded testing required but not yet implemented) Georgia: 12 Maine: 11 Massachusetts: 12 Michigan: 13 Missouri: 14 (expanded testing required but not yet implemented) Rhode Island: 12 Virginia: 12 (expanded testing required but not yet implemented) Washington: 11 Wyoming: 10
Requiring less than 10 tests:
Arkansas: 7 California: 6 (expanded testing required but not yet implemented) District of Columbia: 9 Florida: 8 (expanded testing required but not yet implemented) Kansas: 7 Kentucky: 6 (expanded testing required but not yet implemented) Louisiana: 8 Montana: 7 Nebraska: 8 New Hampshire: 5 New Mexico: 9 Oklahoma: 9 (expanded testing required but not yet implemented) Pennsylvania: 9 Texas: 6 Utah: 7 West Virginia: 7
SOURCE: News release, March of Dimes.