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More than a billion laboratory tests that identify and measure chemicals, such as lead or cholesterol, are performed each year in the United States. The test results have a significant influence on medical decisions.

Given the importance of laboratory test results, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health has programs to help assure the quality of these data so patients and healthcare providers (as well as researchers and public health officials) can be confident that laboratory test results they receive are accurate. These CDC programs focus specifically on laboratory tests that are related to chronic diseases, newborn screening disorders, nutritional status, and environmental exposures.

CDC offers customized QA and standardization programs to help laboratories improve the quality and reliability of their measurement procedures. The specific CDC services that are offered are:

  • Reference materials
  • Proficiency testing
  • Training
  • Guidelines
  • Consultations

Each CDC laboratory QA and standardization program is voluntary and most are free of charge.

Quality Assurance and Standardization Programs

Cardiovascular Disease Biomarker Standardization Programs

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Improves the detection and diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases by ensuring laboratory measurements that test patients’ blood for cholesterol levels are accurate and reliable.

Ensuring the Quality of Urinary Iodine Procedures

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Addresses laboratory quality-assurance issues related to testing for iodine deficiency.

Hormone Standardization Program

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Improves the diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome, certain cancers, and other diseases of hormone excess and deficiency.

Lead and Multielement Proficiency Program

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Focuses on whole blood multi-analyte quality-assurance of blood lead, cadmium, and mercury measurements.

Newborn Screening Quality Assurance Program

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Provides services to laboratories and manufacturers of diagnostic products for newborn screening for detection of treatable, inherited metabolic diseases.

Proficiency of Arsenic Speciation

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Addresses laboratory quality-assurance issues related to testing for arsenic contamination for total arsenic and seven species of arsenic.

Vitamin A Laboratory - External Quality Assurance

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Assists laboratories in monitoring the degree of variability and bias in their assays.

Vitamin D Standardization Program

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Improves the detection and diagnosis of bone diseases by ensuring that laboratory tests for vitamin D are accurate and reliable.

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