TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — All 50 states and the District of Columbia have implemented newborn screening policies for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD), although there are opportunities for improving data collection, according to research published in the Feb. 8 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Noting that in 2011, CCHD was added to the list of conditions recommended to states for universal newborn screening, Jill Glidewell, M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues updated a 2015 report on states’ actions toward adopting and implementing policies supporting CCHD screening.

The researchers found that all 50 states and the District of Columbia had implemented CCHD screening policies in 2018. All states mandated that screening be done with the exception of California, which mandated that screening be offered. In addition, not all states had data systems for tracking all screening results and outcomes in place.

“Newborn screening mandates for CCHD have been found to save lives; however, opportunities continue for program improvement, particularly around data collection,” the authors write. “Despite the implementation of CCHD screening policies in all jurisdictions, data collection efforts have lagged.”

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