I saw ads on Google for genetic tests as low as $300 and as high as $1,200. That is pretty incredible. But are they accurate and is it a good idea to find out which diseases your children are most likely to get? Some parents say the more information, the better. Some doctors say most of the common diseases have a number of contributing factors that include genes, lifestyle and the environment. So, many experts believe the tests are not worth the trouble. But for families who have a long history of dying young from a heart attack or amputations from diabetes, it might be worth it. I haven't had any of my kids tested and I don't plan to.
What do you think?
FROM ABC NEWS: Genetic Testing is directly available to the public and is gaining in popularity. But it seems more time is needed to find out if the tests do any good. So-called direct-to-consumer genetic testing has been hailed as one the medical break-throughs of the twenty-first century.
According to a study in the journal "Pediatrics," parents agree. A survey found that parents favor genetic testing for their children to determine if they are at greater risk for disease as adults. The tests included those for such common illnesses as: colon, skin, and lung cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
The authors say test results could motivate young and healthy people to modify their behavior before bad habits lead to diseases and become deep-seated. But they also caution that -- so far at least -- "the actual risks, benefits, and utility of genetic testing for common preventable health problems has not been established for adults or for children."
Here's more info on this from the FTC