According to a study in JAMA, statewide implementation of mandatory policies to screen newborns for the most serious congenital heart defects was associated with an estimated decrease in infant cardiac deaths.
Congenital heart disease accounted for 6% of US infant deaths from 1999 to 2006. In 2011, critical congenital heart disease was added to the US Recommended Uniform Screening Panel for newborns but it is not known if the policy requiring screen for the most serious defects is associated with lower infant death rates.
Researchers conducted a before-after comparison of early infant deaths (between 24 hours and 6 months of age) from critical congenital heart disease or other congenital cardiac causes in states with mandatory vs nonmandatory screening policies. As of June 2013, eight states had implemented mandatory screening policies, five states had voluntary screening policies, and nine states had adopted but not yet implemented mandates
According to results, there was a decrease in estimated infant cardiac death rates for states that implemented mandatory screening policies compared to states that did not.