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Genetic Testing May Predict Health Risks For Unborn Children


New advanced forms of genetic testing may help predict more possible health risks for unborn babies, says a new study from researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

The study included early genetic testing of fetuses from 4,400 women. They underwent a procedure in which a small portion of the placenta was extracted with a needle and the DNA code was mapped. This allows doctors to predict hundreds of possible health risks as compared to dozens with standard ultrasound technology.

The research team found that as many as six percent of early fetuses that were completely healthy by normal means were found to have significant health risk after genetic testing.

"This isn't done just so people can terminate pregnancies," said lead researcher Dr. Ronald Wapner. "We're better able to give lots and lots of women more information about what's causing the problem and what the prognosis is and what special care their child might need."

Their data appears this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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