" "
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

NIH-Led Study Finds Genetic Test Results Do Not Trigger Increased Use of Health Services

Published: Monday, November 12, 2012
Last Updated: Monday, November 12, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Medical experts feared personal genetic test results might drive overuse of expensive medical care.

People have increasing opportunities to participate in genetic testing that can indicate their range of risk for developing a disease.

Receiving these results does not appreciably drive up or diminish test recipients' demand for potentially costly follow-up health services, according to a study performed by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and colleagues at other institutions.

The study in the May 17, 2012 early online issue of Genetics in Medicine was done by investigators with the Multiplex Initiative, a multi-center collaborative initiative involving investigators from the National Institutes of Health's Intramural Research Program, Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, and the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

The tests are available from a growing number of commercial producers, and health care providers have been uncertain whether people who received information only about risk would follow up by demanding diagnostic testing to monitor for predicted illnesses.

The study is the first to use electronic health records - rather than self-reported behavior - to measure the impact of genetic testing on the subsequent consumption of health services by commercially insured, healthy adults. Self reports, which can be affected by memory lapses and other problems, tend to be less accurate.

"We need to understand the impact of genomic discoveries on the health care system if these powerful technologies are going to improve human health," said Dan Kastner, M.D., Ph.D., scientific director and head of the National Human Genome Research Institute's (NHGRI) Division of Intramural Research. "We are still learning how to integrate new genomic discoveries into clinical care effectively and efficiently."

"There are a lot of unanswered questions about how genetic test results can be used to guide people towards making positive lifestyle and health behavior changes," said Colleen McBride, Ph.D., chief of NHGRI's Social and Behavioral Research Branch. "This study goes a long way towards bringing data to these debates and shows that people are not likely to make inappropriate demands of health delivery systems if they are properly informed about the limitations of genetic tests."

Genetic tests, such as those used in this study, can detect common variants of genes associated with modest alterations in the chances of developing particular diseases. The term multiplex refers to simultaneously performing multiple genetic tests on a single blood sample.

The study included 217 healthy people between the ages of 25 and 40 who elected to participate in genetic susceptibility testing offered by their health plan. The researchers analyzed health care usage by the participants in the 12 months before genetic testing and the 12 months following the testing. They also compared the test group's behavior with a group of about 400 similar plan members who declined the testing offer.

The researchers counted the number of physician visits and laboratory tests or procedures the people received, particularly those services associated with four of the eight conditions tested by the multiplex panel.

Most of the procedures or screening tests that were counted are not among those currently recommended for people in this age group who don't have symptoms. The researchers found that participants in genetic testing did not change their overall use of health care services compared with those not tested.

All of the individuals who elected to undergo the multiplex test carried at least one at-risk genetic marker, with the majority carrying an average of nine at-risk variants.

The tests performed for the Multiplex Initiative include a set of genetic variants reliably associated with an increase in disease risk and for which some corrective health behavior has been shown to prevent illness.

Having a risk version of one of the 15 genes on the multiplex genetic test does not mean that a person is certain to get the condition - only that he or she might have a slightly greater chance of developing the health condition, explained Dr. McBride. There are many things other than genetics that contribute to the risk of common diseases, including lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, smoking and sun exposure.

"Much is written about using genetics to personalize health care," said co-author Lawrence C. Brody, Ph.D., chief of NHGRI's Genome Technology Branch. "Some think that this new generation of genetic tests will be a very positive addition to medicine; others believe they have the potential to make things worse."

Dr. Brody designed the panel of genetic tests used in the Multiplex Initiative, consisting of 15 genetic markers that play roles in eight common diseases, including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lung cancer, colorectal cancer and melanoma.

The Multiplex Initiative was launched in May 2007 by the NHGRI Division of Intramural Research and the National Cancer Institute, both at NIH, along with Group Health Cooperative in Seattle and the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

For the first two years of the study, the investigators accumulated data from 2,000 Detroit area residents who were offered a multiplex genetic test for eight common conditions.

Once enrolled, participants were asked to review information online about the multiplex genetic test and to decide whether they were interested in taking the test. Those who agreed to genetic testing met with a research educator, who provided more information about the risks and benefits of testing, and obtained the patient's written consent.

Test results were mailed to participants. Trained research educators called the participants to help them interpret and understand their results. The study also included follow-up interviews with participants three months after they received their results.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Natural Protein Points to New Inflammation Treatment
Findings may offer insight to effective treatments for inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.
Friday, February 05, 2016
Cancer Drug Target Visualized at Atomic Resolution
New study using cryo-electron microscopy shows how potential drugs could inhibit cancer.
Thursday, February 04, 2016
Genome-Wide Study Yields Markers of Lithium Response
An international consortium of scientists has identified a stretch of chromosome that is associated with responsiveness to the mood-stabilizing medication lithium among patients with bipolar disorder.
Monday, February 01, 2016
Schizophrenia’s Strongest Known Genetic Risk Deconstructed
Suspect gene may trigger runaway synaptic pruning during adolescence – NIH-funded study.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Experimental Combination Surprises with Anti-HIV Effectiveness
A compound developed to protect the nervous system from HIV surprised researchers by augmenting the effectiveness of an investigational antiretroviral drug beyond anything expected.
Monday, January 25, 2016
Dengue Vaccine Enters Phase 3 Trial
Investigational vaccine to prevent ‘breakbone fever’ developed at NIH.
Friday, January 15, 2016
NIH Genome Sequencing Program Targets the Genomic Bases of Common, Rare Disease
The National Institutes of Health will fund a set of genome sequencing and analysis centers whose research will focus on understanding the genomic bases of common and rare human diseases.
Friday, January 15, 2016
Trying to Conceive Soon After a Pregnancy Loss May Increase Chances of Live Birth
NIH study finds no reason for delaying pregnancy attempts after a loss without complications.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Three Glaucoma-Related Genes Discovered
NIH-funded genetics analysis of glaucoma is largest to date.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
NIH-funded Memory Drug Moves into Phase 1 Clinical Study
Collaboration between NIH and Tetra Discovery Partners leads to development of treatment that may affect cognition.
Monday, January 04, 2016
International Study Reveals New Genetic Clues to AMD
NIH-funded research provides framework for future studies of AMD biology, therapy.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
NIH Unveils FY2016–2020 Strategic Plan
Detailed plan sets course for advancing scientific discoveries and human health.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Biomarkers Outperform Symptoms in Parsing Psychosis Subgroups
Multiple biological pathways lead to similar symptoms - NIH-funded study.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Researchers Investigate How a Developing Brain is Assembled
NIH 3-D software tracks worm embryo's brain development.
Tuesday, December 08, 2015
NIH Supports New Studies to Find Alzheimer’s Biomarkers in Down Syndrome
Initiative will track dementia onset, progress in Down syndrome volunteers.
Tuesday, December 01, 2015
Scientific News
Natural Protein Points to New Inflammation Treatment
Findings may offer insight to effective treatments for inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.
Genetic Cause of Rare Allergy
Institute has identified a genetic mutation responsible for a rare form of inherited hives induced by vibratory urticaria.
Battery Component Found to Harm Key Soil Microorganism
The material at the heart of the lithium ion batteries that power electric vehicles, laptop computers and smartphones has been shown to impair a key soil bacterium, according to new research.
Keeping Tumor Growth at Bay
Engineers at Washington University in St. Louis found a way to keep a cancerous tumor from growing by using nanoparticles of the main ingredient in common antacid tablets.
Natural Protein Points to New Inflammation Treatment
Findings may offer insight to effective treatments for inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.
Mitochondria Shown to Trigger Cell Ageing
An international team of scientists has for the first time shown that mitochondria, the batteries of the cells, are essential for ageing.
Cancer Cells Kill Off Healthy Neighbours
Cancer cells create space to grow by killing off surrounding healthy cells, according to UK researchers working with fruit flies.
Validating the Accuracy of CRISPR-Cas9
IBS Researchers create multiplex Digenome-seq to find errors in CRISPR-Cas9 processes.
Cancer Drug Target Visualized at Atomic Resolution
New study using cryo-electron microscopy shows how potential drugs could inhibit cancer.
Genetic Mechanism Behind Cancer-Causing Mutations
Researchers at Indiana University has identified a genetic mechanism that is likely to drive mutations that can lead to cancer.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!