How effectively could genetic tests prevent disease?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

Columbia University professor and Pulitzer-prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee makes a bold prediction in his new book, The Gene: An Intimate History. By the end of this decade, he writes, some forms of heart and brain disease “will be predictable by the combined effect of a handful of mutations.” In fact, it’s already possible today for people to have their genes tested so they can learn something about their risk for cardiovascular and neurological diseases decades before they develop symptoms.

Take, for example, heart disease. For the last several decades, doctors have been quick to blame their patients’ heart problems on their lifestyle choices like smoking and eating a fatty diet, but recent research suggests genes play a much larger role than previously believed. A study led by Harvard researchers and published in the journal The Lancet determined that people with a high genetic risk for cardiovascular problems face a 70% greater chance of suffering a heart attack, regardless of factors like smoking and cholesterol levels.

Read full, original post: Genes Vs. Bad Habits In Heart And Brain Disease: Is Testing The Answer?

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