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ERIC Number: EJ904062
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 98
ISSN: ISSN-1080-4013
Universal Newborn Screening and Adverse Medical Outcomes: A Historical Note
Brosco, Jeffrey P.; Seider, Michael I.; Dunn, Angela C.
Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, v12 n4 p262-269 2006
Universal newborn screening programs for metabolic disorders are typically described as a triumph of medicine and public policy in the US over the last 50 years. Advances in science and technology, including the Human Genome Project, offer the opportunity to expand universal newborn screening programs to include many additional metabolic and genetic conditions. Although the benefits of such screening programs appear to outweigh their costs, some critics have claimed that historical examples of inadvertent harm ensuing from false-positive screening results and subsequent inappropriate medical treatment should make us wary of expanding universal newborn screening. In this essay, we report the results of a review of the published literature to assess whether the extension of screening from at risk populations to all newborns led to substantial morbidity and mortality from misguided medical treatment. We provide a historical overview of universal newborn screening programs in the United States, and then focus on six early NBS programs: congenital hypothyroidism, phenylketonuria, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, galactosemia, sickle cell disease, and maple syrup urine disease. Our comprehensive search of published sources did not reveal a widespread problem of harm ensuing from medical treatment of children with false positive screening test results. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A