Parents Support Genetic Testing for Children, Scientists Say
Personal genetic tests are widely available at drug stores or over the internet. The tests have previously been called into question because of potential misinterpretation of genetic information and unregulated advertising claims.
“These tests usually don’t offer a clean bill of health and can be hard to interpret even in the best scenario,” said lead researcher Kenneth Tercyak in a press release. “They identify incremental risks for many common diseases. Most people carry some risk based on a combination of their family history, genetics and lifestyle.”
Unexpected or false positive tests could cause negative reactions among parents and children and overwhelm pediatricians with worried parents following up on the results.
“The findings of our study should remind clinicians and policymakers to consider children when regulating genetic tests,” Tercyak said.
The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.