Information no protection

| March 17, 2016

Genetic tests that predict people’s risk for disease are becoming more common, but a new analysis suggests that having that information doesn’t mean people will act on it, according to a story by Karen Pallarito for HealthDay News.

British researchers reviewed the results of 18 studies that looked at whether communicating DNA test results for conditions such as cancer and heart disease led people to make healthy changes.

But they found no evidence that people adopted healthier behaviors, such as quitting smoking or eating more healthfully, after receiving their DNA results.

Individuals were neither motivated to make healthy changes nor discouraged from doing so, the review authors noted.

Theresa Marteau, director of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit at the University of Cambridge, who led the investigation, said the reviewed studies did not address why test results failed to promote risk-reducing behaviors.

But she said that the most likely reason was that “risk perceptions have at best only a small influence on behavior”.

The analysis was published on March 15 in the BMJ.

The full HealthDay story is at:

Category: Breaking News

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