Study: Genetic Tests Don’t Change Behavior

By | March 17, 2016

FLICKR, CAROLINE DAVIS2010While genetic tests that identify biomarkers of disease risk are growing increasingly popular, they may not have much impact on health outcomes, according to a meta-analysis published this week (March 15) in BMJ that found no link between knowledge of genetic risk and a change in health-related behavior.

“Expectations that communicating DNA-based risk estimates changes behavior are not supported by existing evidence,” the authors, from Cambridge University’s Health and Behavior Research Unit, wrote in their paper. Specifically, an analysis of 18 studies did “not support use of genetic testing or the search for risk-conferring gene variants for common complex diseases on the basis that they motivate risk-reducing behavior,” the researchers wrote.

The results are consistent with those of a 2010 Cochrane review, which similarly found little or no effect of genetic testing on behaviors such as smoking, diet, physical activity, and alcohol use. But some researchers, including the University of Michigan’s Brian Zikmund-Fisher, blame the negative result on individual variation that is not accounted for in such large meta-analyses.

“The absence of effect shown in this meta-analysis is not surprising: the people most likely to act on genetic information are few in number and hence we tend not to find effects on average,” Zikmund-Fisher told Quartz. “Yet, the current lack of evidence is not proof that communication of genetic findings cannot influence patients. Instead, it simply suggests that communicating genetic risk will likely be very useful to a small subset of patients rather than moderately useful to everyone.”

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Comments

Avatar of: wctopp

wctopp

Posts: 110

March 17, 2016

Our lifestyle choices are made to optimize the feelgood/aggro ratio.  Adding aggro by telling me that if something I'm doing to feel good is going to kill me is very probably going to motivate me to increase some feelgood behaviour.

Avatar of: shivedra

shivedra

Posts: 1

March 26, 2016

foolish persons are only involved in this type of test......

first thing is that your base is not correct than how can you go on further. You have to come back and again check where you did mistake

Popular Now

  1. Publishers’ Legal Action Advances Against Sci-Hub
  2. How Microbes May Influence Our Behavior
  3. Metabolomics Data Under Scrutiny
    Daily News Metabolomics Data Under Scrutiny

    Out of 25,000 features originally detected by metabolic profiling of E. coli, fewer than 1,000 represent unique metabolites, a study finds.

  4. Sexual Touch Promotes Early Puberty
    Daily News Sexual Touch Promotes Early Puberty

    The brains and bodies of young female rats can be accelerated into puberty by the presence of an older male or by stimulation of the genitals.

AAAS