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Cystic fibrosis carrier screening practices in an ethnically diverse region: experience of the Genetic Network of the Empire State, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands

, : Cystic fibrosis carrier screening practices in an ethnically diverse region: experience of the Genetic Network of the Empire State, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Genetic Testing 3(2): 215-218

We surveyed clinical genetics centers to assess current cystic fibrosis (CF) screening practices with regard to clinical and laboratory aspects. The survey was developed by the CF committee of the Genetics Network of the Empire State, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (GENES) to gauge changes in trends following the April, 1997, NIH Consensus Statement recommending the offering of CF carrier screening to all pregnant patients. Thirty-five of 45 Centers (78%) returned the survey, which was mailed in June, 1998. Sixteen centers currently offer population-based screening, whereas 19 centers do not. Reasons cited for not offering testing included the low risk for CF in ethnic groups served, lack of data about test sensitivity in the populations served, and the absence of CF screening policies in the current standards of care. Approximately half (56%) of genetics centers that are offering testing altered their screening policy following the NIH Consensus statement, either by offering screening to patients of higher-risk ethnicities or by offering it to all patients. Less than half of the Centers that offer routine carrier screening offer screening to all patients regardless of ethnicity. This report is an initial step in documenting and understanding the current service practices regarding CF carrier testing in a diverse region. Our conclusions: (1) Screening practices vary widely among genetic centers in the region. (2) The decision to offer routine CF carrier screening is largely based on ethnicity of the patient population served. (3) Methods used to screen pregnant women and their partners in this part of the country reflect the diversity of models employed throughout the United States. (4) CF screening practices in the GENES region have changed significantly following the April, 1997, NIH consensus statement.


PMID: 10464670

DOI: 10.1089/gte.1999.3.215

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