Data show at least 87,000 births in 2019

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 14-01-2020 09:51:00 · 0 Comments
Data show at least 87,000 births in 2019

In 2019, at least 87,364 babies were born in Portugal, 537 more than in the previous year and 4,264 more than in 2014, according to data based on the "foot test", released on Tuesday by the National Institute of Health Ricardo Jorge (INSA).

In relation to 2018, the year in which 86,827 newborns were studied under the National Newborn Screening Program (PNRN), known as the "foot test", 537 more babies were born, according to data provided to the Lusa agency.

Lisbon was the district with the most "foot tests" carried out (26,281), followed by Porto (15,701) and Setúbal (6,723), according to the data provided to the Lusa agency.

Portalegre (621), Bragança (629) and Braga (697) were the districts with the fewest tests performed in 2019 in the scope of screening, coordinated by INSA, through its Neonatal, Metabolism and Genetics Screening Unit, of the Department of Human Genetics, and not the number of births in Portugal.

The months that registered the highest number of tests were October (8,516), followed by January (8,291) and August (7,599).

Analyzing the data since 2014, elements show that 83,100 foot tests were performed that year, a number that rose to 85,056 in 2015 and 87,577 in 2016.

In 2017, it fell to 86,180, rising again in 2018 (86,827) and in 2019 (87,364), according to INSA data.

The National Early Diagnosis Program (PNDC), better known as the "foot test", started in 1979 with the objective of diagnosing children who suffer from genetic diseases that can benefit from early treatment, avoiding the occurrence of mental retardation, serious irreversible disease and even death.

The program currently covers 26 diseases, 25 of which are of genetic origin.

The "foot test" must be carried out between the third and the sixth day of the baby's life and consists of collecting blood droplets by pricking the baby's foot.

Although it is not mandatory, the National Neonatal Screening Program currently has a coverage rate of 99.5%, with an average treatment start time of 9.9 days.

Since the program's inception and through the end of 2018, 3,803,068 children have been screened and 2,132 cases diagnosed, 779 of which are metabolic diseases, 1,304 of congenital hypothyroidism and 49 of cystic fibrosis, said Laura Vilarinho, who has been part of the program since its inception.


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