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Aat Deficiency

Volume 404: debated on Monday 28 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to give babies the heel prick test for AAT Deficiency in the near future. [106606]

The United Kingdom National Screening Committee provides advice to Ministers on all aspects of screening policy. To assess the evidence for any proposed new screening programme, the NSC uses criteria covering, for example, the nature of the condition, the effectiveness of the test, and the diagnostic and treatment options. There are no plans at present to introduce a heel prick test in babies for alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency, as there is not yet research evidence to support a universal programme.