The test — which looks for traces of fetal DNA in the mother's blood — is highly accurate, and has a lower false positive rate than current methods of testing, the study found.
While the test has been available since 2011, it is not widely used, and few studies have followed women forward over time to examine how the test would be incorporated into the care that patients already receive.
In the new study, about 1,000 women in England underwent the test, called cell-free DNA testing, at 10 weeks of pregnancy.
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