Florida to Begin Newborn Screening for Cystic Fibrosis

State Joins 36 Others in Screening for Life-Threatening Genetic Disease

Jun 28, 2007, 01:00 ET from Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

    WASHINGTON, June 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The state of Florida
 will begin screening all newborns for cystic fibrosis (CF) starting July 1.
 Florida joins 36 other states in the country, plus the District of
 Columbia, to routinely screen for CF at birth.
     "This is the right thing to do," said Peter Hodge, a Boca Raton, Fla.
 father of two daughters with CF. Hodge's 14-year-old daughter, Olivia,
 wasn't diagnosed with the disease until she was a teenager. "We wish our
 daughter had been diagnosed at birth. That may have prevented some of the
 health damage she's already suffered. I'm a big believer that knowledge is
 power and that newborn screening gives families that power."
     Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects
 30,000 children and adults in the United States. CF causes thick mucus to
 build up in the lungs and other organs, causing life-threatening infections
 and serious digestive complications.
     Research shows that screening for CF will likely improve and extend the
 lives of those born with the disease. Early diagnosis allows for affected
 infants to begin therapeutic interventions immediately. These interventions
 have been shown to help people with CF to maintain or improve lung
 function, as well as increase life expectancy and reduce hospitalizations.
 Early intervention has been shown to improve height, weight, and cognitive
 function as well.
     The CF Foundation strongly urges all states to implement comprehensive
 programs for routine newborn screening for cystic fibrosis.
     About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
     The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the leading organization devoted to
 curing and controlling cystic fibrosis. CF is a genetic disease that can
 lead to life-threatening lung infections and digestive problems.
 Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation funds CF research, has more
 than 80 chapter and branch offices throughout the country, and supports and
 accredits a nationwide network of CF care centers, which provide vital
 treatments and other CF resources to patients and families. For more
 information, visit http://www.cff.org.

SOURCE Cystic Fibrosis Foundation