The risks and limitations of personal genomic tests

One of the better summaries on personal genomics tests, from CDC researchers. Key points:

First, we encourage consumers to have a healthy dose of skepticism about the interpretation of the findings, their probabilistic nature, and their utility for improving their health. 

Second, we encourage consumers to discuss and share the results of tests with their health care providers, especially in the case of reported mutations with high risk for certain genetic conditions or carrier state for these conditions. 

Third, regardless of what is in the genetic test result, we encourage consumers to seek, collect and validate as much as possible their family health history. 

Fourth, there are general disease prevention and health promotion messages that are important, regardless of one’s genetic risk profile, including smoking cessation, physical activity, diet, vaccinations, injury prevention, and infectious disease control. 

Finally, personal genomic tests can offer a unique process for consumers to use a “genomics lens” to learn about determinants of health and disease and to enhance both family and patient-provider interactions. 

The risks and limitations of personal genomic tests.

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