Genetic testing for children gets high marks from parents -

Genetic testing for children gets high marks from parents

Is genetic testing of children a good idea? Parents seem to think so. New research shows that more than half of parents offered tests to predict their risk of developing common adult health conditions would test their kids as well.

But experts caution that gene tests, which are now widely available at drug stores and online, can sow confusion and needless alarm - or false reassurance.

"These tests usually don't offer a clean bill of health and can be hard to interpret even in the best scenario," study author Dr. Kenneth P. Tercyak, associate professor of oncology and pediatrics at Georgetown University Medical Center, said in a written statement. "Most people carry some risk for common ailments, based on a combination of family history, heredity, and lifestyle."

The study, published online in the journal Pediatrics, involved 219 parents who were offered genetic testing to gauge their vulnerability to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes and cancer of the colon, skin and lung. The parents who were most interested in being tested themselves were more interested in having their children tested too - thinking that the information would lead to improved health for their children.

That may not be the case.

"The assumption is the tests are conclusive...and nothing could be further from the truth," says Dr. Robert Saul, senior clinical geneticist at Greenwood Genetic Center in Greenwood, S.C. "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."

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Parents desperate to get their troubled sleepers to bed are turning to synthetic melatonin, which is a supplement sold over the counter. But expert warn it could have adverse effects on child development.
    Many adults turn to sleep aids like melatonin, but now more parents are giving them to their kids, too. We talked to physicians to see what they had to say about how it could affect your child's development.
  • Six deadly foods for dogs

    Six deadly foods for dogs

    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. One woman found that out the hard way when her dog ate a bunch of grapes! Turns out, that's one of the most dangerous foods
    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. But these common snacks could be fatal for Fido.
  • Mouse droppings cause disease

    Mouse droppings cause respiratory disease

    Mice are one of the most resilient mammals living on the planet. Some people have them as pets, and they're also used in laboratory experiments. If wild mice get inside your house, they can potentially
    If wild mice find a way inside your home, they can potentially cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your drywall and insulation. They can also transmit a harmful disease which can cause death in humans. 
Powered by WorldNow