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Experts call for national pregnancy screening policy

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

The UK urgently needs a national policy on pregnancy screening to overcome regional inequities, say researchers from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London. The proportion of health regions and boards using age alone to determine screening for Down's syndrome and other congenital abnormalities fell from 49% in 1991 to 23% in 1994, says Dr Nicholas Wald (The Lancet, February 3rd). The two step approach - whereby women are first screened on the basis of age and then offered a serum screening test - should be avoided, say Dr Wald and his colleagues. It denies young women an inexpensive test and it is inefficient, they say.

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