More than half of parents interested in using at-home personal genetic testing for their children: Poll

May 01, 2017

"We found that eighty-seven percent of parents who are not interested in genetic testing for children think it may make them worry too much about their children's future and whether or not their children will develop disease," Tarini says.

Two-thirds of uninterested parents also agree that genetic testing may lead to discrimination against children because of the genetic risk of disease.

"It's important for parents to understand that we have little data about the benefits and harms associated with the use of this testing in children," Tarini says. "Advocates argue that personal genetic testing may motivate parents and children to take preventive actions, while critics believe personal genetic tests may provide inaccurate or incomplete information that may worry parents and children more than it helps them."

Matthew Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., director of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, adds, "With exciting new medical technologies such as personal genetic testing, it's extremely important to know what the public thinks. That's especially true for tests that can be used for children, because the time frame and consequences of testing may be less clear, early on in the lifespan of a new technology."

SOURCE University of Michigan Health System