How should people use their personal genetic information?

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Personal genome sequencing may be the next great technology frontier in public health—but how do patients feel about knowing, sharing and acting on their genetic information?

That’s a question researchers are exploring as more health-care providers, companies and research groups begin providing results of personal genome sequencing to patients and their doctors.


The broad aim is to understand people’s genetically based risks and develop strategies to keep them healthy, rather than just treating their diseases, [Debra] Leonard says[.]

[According to preliminary survey results,] about 20% of participants cited specific concerns about their family history, and those were more likely to report learning something that they believe will improve their health than those who didn’t report family-history concerns.

[Dr. Robert Hayward] doesn’t believe all patients should have their genomes sequenced “because you could be chasing after red herrings and doing a lot of harm.”


Instead, Hayward says, “start with a patient that has a condition and then do testing, rather than looking for things in perfectly healthy people.”

Read full, original post: Why knowing your genetic data can be a tricky proposition

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