Is it possible to know too much about your genes?

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Would you want to know if you were at a higher risk of getting dementia later in life? Would you want to know that you could die under general anaesthesia, or might die suddenly of heart failure? Would you want to know if you had a higher-than-normal chance of getting cancer? You could learn these things by looking at your genome. But would you want to be faced with the answers?

When a doctor suspects that you have a genetic disease, they can now read your genome from cover to cover.

How would you feel if you were told you had a 90% increased risk of breast cancer or that you might die suddenly from a problem with your heart like some young athletes in the news? Even if our ability to understand these variants were stronger, would the benefit of knowing this information outweigh the potential anxiety it could cause?

Genetic variants aren’t the full picture – the environment plays a role, too. There are also concerns around storage, security, privacy and discrimination. Further complicating all of this is the shared nature of genetic information…Unlike a typical medical test, genetic results not only affect us, but our family members.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post:  Do you really want to know what’s lurking in your genome?

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