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Newborn Screening and Genetic Profiling


July 26, 2013 by Turn The Page

newborn testing genetic profile

Newborn screening has been standard in the United States for 50 years. Newborn screening is the practice of testing all babies for a set of disorders and conditions before symptoms begin.

To test for these conditions, hospital staff draw blood from babies’ heels. The testing has proven to be valuable, allowing doctors to prevent damage and save lives. When a problem is detected early, doctors can initiate treatment that prevents life-threatening illnesses, physical and mental disabilities.

Initiatives are being made to alter the standard newborn testing procedures. Each state requires testing for a certain number of conditions, but advocates are pushing for a complete genetic profile for newborns.

newborn testing genetic profile


Changes in Newborn Testing

These changes are being proposed by national institutes and groups. Changes in newborn testing could bring about some complex results.

If newborn testing were to include a complete genetic profile, parents could be notified of predispositions and potential problems.

Identify rare diseases

Genetic testing in newborns would allow for a broad range of testing results. Initiating these genomic technologies would allow health professionals to not only identify the presence of conditions, but also to predict disease risks, behaviors and drug tolerances. This type of testing looks to predict future health patterns.

Potential for false positives

As newborn testing starts analyzing more conditions, there is greater chance for false positives. Research shows that many of the positive results for diseases are false results. If parents are notified of a positive test result, they are left to worry about the second test result. This period of agony can even keep worried parents from bonding with their child in the meantime.

Parent and child relationship

One concern with genetic profiling of newborns is the way it will affect the parent and child relationship. Parents may be overwhelmed when they are presented with a wealth of information about their newborn. Parents who learn that a child might have a disease or disorder actually start behaving as if the child does have the condition. Parents may be anxious and be intent on protecting their child’s health.

DNA answers so many questions. We love to learn about the future of DNA testing and how genetic profiles will be used to advance our society.

The staff at Test Smartly Labs are ready to help you with any of your DNA testing needs.

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  1. These tests are some truly remarkable tests. The ability to help diagnose your child, will help you understand how to care for them more effectively.

  2. It’s incredible what the advancements in this field are providing. Very interesting read.

  3. Parents could find out so much about their child if they did genetic profiling as a part of the standard newborn screening. That can help them prepare for the future and catch signs and symptoms earlier on. The baby in the photo is so cute!

  4. Maybe it would be best if the results were left with the doc’s just so they could keep an eye on the child as it grew.

  5. This could be a really good thing, but I do think it would make parents worry more if their child did test positive for something.

  6. Thanks for sharing this useful information!

  7. I say go for it, how could it be that bad.

  8. Unitel, Inc. says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is but thanks for sharing.

  9. That is an interesting subject! Thanks for posting.

  10. These tests can provide some vital details for parents of a newborn. Knowing the possibility for a child with a condition shouldn’t change the way you parent them.

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