A study of the cost and effect of newborn screening for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia in Texas

Christine Ann Brosnan, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), due to 21-Hydroxylase deficiency, has an estimated incidence of 1:15,000 births and can result in death, salt-wasting crisis or impaired growth. It has been proposed that early diagnosis and treatment of infants detected from newborn screening for CAH will decrease the incidence of mortality and morbidity in the affected population. The Texas Department of Health (TDH) began mandatory screening for CAH in June, 1989 and Texas is one of fourteen states to provide neonatal screening for the disorder. The purpose of this study was to describe the cost and effect of screening for CAH in Texas during 1994 and to compare cases first detected by screen and first detected clinically between January 1, 1990 and December 31, 1994. This study used a longitudinal descriptive research design. The data was secondary and previously collected by the Texas Department of Health. Along with the descriptive study, an economic analysis was done. The cost of the program was defined, measured and valued for four phases of screening: specimen collection, specimen testing, follow-up and diagnostic evaluation. There were 103 infants with Classical CAH diagnosed during the study and 71 of the cases had the more serious Salt-Wasting form of the disease. Of the infants diagnosed with Classical CAH, 60% of the cases were first detected by screen and 40% were first detected because of clinical findings before the screening results were returned. The base case cost of adding newborn screening to an existing program (excluding the cost of specimen collection) was $357,989 for 100,000 infants. The cost per case of Classical CAH diagnosed, based on the number of infants first detected by screen in 1994, was \$126,892. There were 42 infants diagnosed with the more benign Nonclassical form of the disease. When these cases were included in the total, the cost per infant to diagnose Congenital Adrenal/Hyperplasia was $87,848.

Subject Area

Public health|Health care|Nursing

Recommended Citation

Brosnan, Christine Ann, "A study of the cost and effect of newborn screening for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia in Texas" (1996). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9700036.