Experts are divided about how helpful DNA sequencing data really are. The tests often identify mutations that raise someone’s risk of developing a condition, but don’t necessarily cause the disease. Uncertain results may confuse doctors and scare families — causing them to seek doctors’ visits and treatments that most ultimately won’t require, adding to unnecessary health care costs. There are also concerns about false positives and false negatives with sequencing. But a new study has found that among rare disease physicians — the ones to whom worried parents will turn — there is emerging consensus that these sorts of tests should be used on a broader scale.

When 238 rare-disease doctors across the U.S. were surveyed by a research team at Mass General Brigham in Boston, 88% of them agreed that DNA sequencing to screen for certain treatable childhood disorders should be made available to all newborns. The study was published Monday in JAMA Network Open.

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