Parents Support Genetic Testing for Children, Scientists Say

According to U.S. scientists, parents support having their children genetically tested for adult diseases despite the risks associated with the controversial assessments, Fox News reported.Researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center found that more than 200 parents who were offered genetic testing supported having their children also tested for their risks of adult-onset health conditions.

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.

Click here to read more from