Currently, there are screenings available for over 60 disorders. But there is variability in the number and types of conditions found on the newborn screening panel of each state, which is determined by each state public health department. Generally, screening is a public health service used for identifying individuals in a population who may have a higher risk for certain diseases.
Because newborn screening tests are performed before any symptoms appear, conditions can be detected and treated before problems happen. However, a screening test doesn’t confirm or rule out a particular condition. In other words, newborn screening is not a diagnostic test. It can be used to identify individuals who may have the condition so that a follow-up test can be done to determine if the condition is truly present.
The conditions that newborns are screened for differ in each state. In most states, 29 of the recommended 35 conditions are screened. These conditions are rare, but more than 5,000 babies are identified with a newborn screening condition each year.