Navigation Links
Parents Want Genetic Testing for Kids: Study
Date:4/18/2011

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Given the option, parents considering personal genetic testing to predict their own risks for common conditions are also likely to have their children tested, a new study suggests.

"The more a parent believes they're going to get good news, the more likely they'll want their kids to be tested," said senior study author Colleen McBride, chief of the social and behavioral research branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute, in Washington, D.C. "But that can backfire. Most of them are not going to get a clear, straight-A report card."

In fact, because the tests measure incremental risks and the diseases screened are so common, a majority of parents would learn their children are at risk for developing potentially serious conditions, McBride said.

Hoping to explore the controversial topic of direct-to-consumer genetic testing -- whose accuracy and benefits are still in question -- researchers evaluated responses from 219 parents enrolled in a large health plan. Participants were offered genetic tests to assess their susceptibility to eight adult-onset diseases, including colon, skin and lung cancer; heart disease; osteoporosis; high blood pressure; high cholesterol; and type 2 diabetes.

Parents were more likely to want their child tested if they believed the child was at risk for a condition, were interested in genes' effects on health, or anticipated relief from learning their children were at decreased risk of disease, researchers said. Mothers were more likely to favor testing than fathers.

The study, part of a larger effort by the National Human Genome Research Institute, is published online April 18 in advance of the May print issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Study participants, whose average age was 35, were asked by telephone about their beliefs about the risks and benefits of predictive gene testing for their children, although no children were actually tested in this research.

The parents most interested in the test for themselves made little distinction between the pros and cons of testing for themselves and their children, the study authors reported, generally favoring the information and believing it could lead to better health maintenance and disease prevention.

But McBride and other genetics experts question how useful such tests really are. Hailed as one of the best inventions of the 21st century -- and widely available to consumers online -- the tests do not always produce consistent results and are easy to misinterpret without professional guidance, experts said.

An undercover study of 15 direct-to-consumer genetic tests by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found "egregious examples of deceptive marketing, in addition to poor or non-existent advice from supposed consultation experts," according to a recent report in The Lancet.

Organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics have advised against genetic testing of children for adult-onset diseases when the information has not been shown to reduce deaths or disease complications through interventions begun in childhood.

"The big concern out there is these kids are going to show up at the pediatrician and say, 'Hey doc, what do I do?'" McBride said. "Parents see more perceived benefits than may be true."

Dr. Robert Saul, senior clinical geneticist and training program director at the Greenwood Genetic Center in South Carolina, said one worry is that a family might negatively change its lifestyle -- perhaps exercising less -- if they find out their child is likely not at risk for a certain condition, such as high blood pressure.

"The assumption is the tests are conclusive . . . and nothing could be further from the truth," said Saul, also incoming chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Genetics. "I thought it was an important study because it shows that we -- the medical genetics and pediatric communities -- have a lot of work ahead of us to impart information to parents to make sure genetic tests will be used appropriately and judiciously."

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more information on genetic testing.

SOURCES: Colleen M. McBride, Ph.D., chief, social and behavioral research branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, Washington, D.C.; Robert Saul, M.D., incoming chair, AAP Committee on Genetics, senior clinical geneticist and training program director, Greenwood Genetic Center, Greenwood, S.C.; April 18, 2011 online issue Pediatrics.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Alcoholic Parents May Predispose Kids to Drinking Problem
2. Study: Parents likely to embrace predictive genetic testing for their children if offered
3. Kids May Mimic How Parents Handle Pain
4. Parents, Saying Um and Uh May Aid Learning
5. Children relate to stepparents based on perceived financial, emotional benefits, study finds
6. U-M experts: Parents trust doctors most when it comes to information about vaccine safety
7. Stepchildren relate to stepparents based on perceived benefits, researchers find
8. Babies who sleep with smoker parents exhibit high nicotine levels
9. Terminolgy matters in parents willingness to enroll their children in research
10. Parents Often Confused About Kids Health Coverage
11. Parents Can Help Prevent Problem Drinking in College Kids
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Parents Want Genetic Testing for Kids: Study
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Providing for loved ones ... estate planning process, or where to even begin. “Now more than ever there are ... to properly protect yourself and your family,” said attorney Lisa Edgar Dickman, founder of ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... to experienced, personalized dental care since 1985. After thirty-two years, Dr. Latner has become ... privilege to help my numerous clients over the years with all their dental needs,” ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Each year, everyone is ... day to clean, plant trees and look forward to a better future. However, supporting ... doing something outdoors. Indoor air quality can be two to five times more polluted ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Federal ... five common elements between the Obamacare program that most Republicans love to hate ... Warfarin poison to kill hogs. , Like Obamacare, the Miller program centers ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Indiana Fiber ... bandwidth upgrade infrastructure service to Tele-Media Solutions. IFN is delivering Multi-Gigabit data ... consortium member-owners, Tele-Media Solution’s protect transport with 3GB Dual Access Internet access now ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... By Service (Manufacturing, Research), By Country, (Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, ... to their offering. ... The Latin American pharmaceutical contract manufacturing services market is anticipated ... drug registration cost in Latin American countries and continuous economic ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... Cardiology devices segment is anticipated to reach the ... Cardiology Devices segment is likely to create absolute $ opportunity ... over 2017. By the end of 2027, Cardiology Devices segment ... 700 Mn, expanding at a CAGR of 18.4% over the ... Asia Pacific reprocessed medical devices market in terms ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... Calif. , April 19, 2017  IRIDEX Corporation ... will release financial results for the first quarter 2017 ... 2017.  The Company,s management team will host a corresponding ... p.m. ET. Investors interested in listening to ... 707-0665 for domestic callers or (703) 326-3030 for international ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: