Genetic testing offers many benefits, including providing important information that can be used when making decisions about having a family and taking care of one's own health. What can raw data from a direct-to-consumer genetic test tell me? You also may need to sign a consent form and agree to get advice from a health professional about your results. It does not require approval from a healthcare provider or health insurance company. Examples of these diseases include coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer's disease. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How do direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies protect their customers’ privacy? What do the results of direct-to-consumer genetic testing mean? However, there are also limitations. Pros of genetic testing It offers insight: With genetic testing, “we’re targeting the coding part of the gene that is relevant to your particular disease,” Aatre says. Is an At-Home DNA Test an Ideal Gift, Really? COPYRIGHT © 2020 Genes in Life. While the test may detect a particular problem gene, it cannot predict how severely the person carrying that gene will be affected. Direct-to-consumer genetic testing promotes awareness of genetic diseases. However, we usually cannot predict the timing of disease onset or the severity of the condition. Certain healthcare providers can help you make decisions about genetic testing based on your health and what you want to learn. Genetic testing holds great potential for the future of medical care. There are two different types of predictive genetic testing: Many laboratories will not do a predictive genetic test until certain things have been explained to you. What does it mean to have Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA? An absolutely essential component of clinical genetics testing is giving your informed consent to do the tests and knowing what you want to do with the results of these tests. Site by ProjectMiso. Your data is added to a large database that can be used to further medical research. These relatives may or may not want to know about the implications for themselves and handling the information obtained from genetic testing can be difficult and complex. Can the results of direct-to-consumer genetic testing affect my ability to get insurance? What kinds of direct-to-consumer genetic tests are available? It provides personalized information about your health, disease risk, and other traits. type of health program that involves the identification of any changes in genes Learn more. Many diseases are the result of an interaction between a person’s genes and their environment. The results from a predictive test may affect: Test results also may show information about your relatives. Know your legal rights as well. What are the benefits and risks of direct-to-consumer genetic testing? DNA sample collection is usually simple and noninvasive, and results are available quickly. That, she notes, involves reading a DNA sequence from start to finish to see if there are any “interruptions/disruptions” — mutations associated with the disease in question — that stop the gene from making normal proteins. Other genetic and environmental factors, lifestyle choices, and family medical history also affect the likelihood of developing many disorders. Unproven or invalid tests can be misleading. What is direct-to-consumer genetic testing? To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Such results are not definitive and may leave a person wondering what to do with those results. Direct-to-consumer genetic testing promotes awareness of genetic diseases. Diagnostic testing is the situation where an individual is suspected of having a particular condition and a specific gene/s is/are tested to look for disease causing mutations. Genetic testing of children implicates important concerns about the minor patient’s present and future autonomy and best interests. Predictive tests can determine if a person has a disease causing mutation or variant which may, at a later date, cause a particular genetic condition. Predictive Testing vs. Make certain that your privacy is respected. In both cases, talk to a healthcare professional. Carefully think about your results and the effect they can have on family members. Predictive testing may be useful to people who: netic test from healthcare providers or direct-to-consumer companies. Such results are not definitive and may leave a person wondering what to do with those results. You also may need to sign a consent form and agree to get advice from a health professional about your results. Why should I bring this information to my healthcare provider? Depending on the company, the database may represent up to several million participants. The way in which these interactions cause disease is not clearly understood. Washington State Department of Health: Purchasing Genetic Testing- Buyers Beware! This is especially important as more genetic testing becomes available directly to consumers. Legal issues, such as patient privacy, use of genetic testing to determine insurance coverage, and the use of archived patient samples are some of the broader social issues to be considered. If you think you need predictive testing, find a genetic counselor in your area to help you make the decision. It offers many benefits, including providing important information that can be used when making decisions about having a family and taking care of one’s own health. The results from a predictive test may affect: Your life plan; Your health choices; Your mental and emotional state; Test results also may show information about your relatives. Benefits. How is direct-to-consumer genetic testing done? Diagnostic Testing: GeneReviews: Resources for Genetics Professionals--Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing. Many of the risks associated with genetic testing involve the emotional, social, or financial consequences of the test results. This type of testing cannot tell definitively whether you will or will not get a particular disease. Diagnostic testing is used to find out if you have a condition associated with symptoms you already have. Predictive genetic testing searches for genetic changes, or mutations, that are linked to disease. If a person is found to have a genetic variant that has implications for health then this may be relevant for other family members such as brothers, sisters, children and other relatives. It is often less expensive than genetic testing obtained through a healthcare provider. Resources for Genetics Professionals--Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing. Predictive testing should be done with advice from a clinical geneticist or a genetic counsellor familiar with the disease. The results of genetic testing may impact your ability to obtain life, disability, or long-term care insurance. Direct-to-consumer genetic testing provides only partial information about your health. URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/understanding/dtcgenetictesting/dtcrisksbenefits/. Yale Medicine: Is an At-Home DNA Test an Ideal Gift, Really? People in favor of testing often cite their motivations to be an increased ability to plan for the future and make informed reproductive decisions, the relief of uncertainty and worry, the desire to learn their children's risk status, the ability to participate in research and clinical trials, and simply for the sake of wanting to know.