All Ill. newborns to be tested for cystic fibrosis

March 3, 2008 6:37:30 PM PST
Monday is the first day all newborns in the state will be screened for the hereditary lung disease cystic fibrosis. With the addition of the new screening, Illinois hospitals are now required to check babies for 37 metabolic and inherited disorders.

The tests will be conducted at a West Side lab.

Doctor Damon Arnold, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, says most children aren't diagnosed until after their first birthday. He said he believes early diagnosis will reduce complications.

"The cost of doing this testing actually pays for itself in a very short period of time. It actually saves millions of dollars because of the early diagnosis. You can actually have intervention earlier on and prevent some hospitalizations, which are very costly," said Dr. Arnold.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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