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Cystic Fibrosis Carrier Screening (cont.)

Is Screening Accurate?

The blood test can detect whether a person is a carrier of cystic fibrosis (CF) in about 9 out of 10 CF carriers.2 This rate is not the same among all racial and ethnic groups. There is a small risk that you may be a CF carrier even when the test results are negative.

Should I Be Screened?

The decision to have cystic fibrosis (CF) carrier screening is a personal one. You may wish to be tested if you are concerned that you or your partner might be carriers of CF. This may be more likely if either of you has a family member with the disease.

Some people decide to be tested to help find out their risks if they choose to have children. Among whites, about 2 to 5 out of 100 are carriers of a defective CF gene.3 CF is much less common in other racial and ethnic groups.

Carrier testing is expensive. Another thing that may guide the decision to have testing is whether the cost of the test is covered by your insurance company.

You may decide to have carrier testing for CF if you are already pregnant. The test results may influence your decision about your pregnancy or help you make decisions about the care of your newborn child.

Why Not Be Screened?

There may be reasons you would choose not to have cystic fibrosis (CF) carrier testing.

  • You think that your risk of being a carrier is low. This may be true if you are an African American or an Asian American. The incidence of CF is lower in these groups.
  • You are already pregnant and the information obtained from testing will not affect your decision to continue your pregnancy. Remember, though, that CF test results can provide valuable information for the care of your unborn child.
  • Carrier testing is expensive. You may decide not to have testing if your insurance does not pay for it.
  • Testing does not identify all people who have a mutation in the CF gene. There is a small chance that you are a carrier even if the results are normal (negative).

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