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'Over-the-counter' genetic testing: What does it really mean for primary care?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paul Brennan

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Abstract

The publication of More Genes Direct by the Human Genetics Commission is a timely reminder of the potential impact that 'over-the-counter' genetic testing (that is, a direct genetic test without the need for a medical referral) may have on the NHS. This article considers the relevance of current genetic research on complex common diseases and how this might translate into risk estimates for developing conditions such as dementia, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The implications for primary care include the need to understand the current limitations of genetic testing and its commercial application over the counter, and the importance of continuing to make risk assessments using family history. The authors recommend caution in the premature introduction of over-the-counter testing without a sound evidence base. © British Journal of General Practice.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Rafi I, Qureshi N, Lucassen A, Modell M, Elmslie F, Kai J, Kirk M, Starey N, Goff S, Brennan P, Hodgson S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of General Practice

Year: 2009

Volume: 59

Issue: 561

Pages: 283-287

ISSN (print): 0960-1643

ISSN (electronic): 1478-5242

Publisher: Royal College of General Practitioners

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3399/bjgp09X395021

DOI: 10.3399/bjgp09X395021

PubMed id: 19341543


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