Tweets from Daniel MacArthur

@dgmacarthur"genetic tests as effective, but not more effective, as family/personal history in assessing disease risk"


@dgmacarthur I find it astonishing that genetic testing, in its infancy, is ALREADY as good as family history. Still, cue negative headlines...

The headline is "Scripps Finds Genotyping No More Useful than Family, Personal History in Assessing Disease Risk"

Why negative? The glass is not even half-full, it is full! Genetics AS GOOD AS family history and traditional risk factors... but the article goes on to say:

"Based on these findings, Bloss and colleagues concluded that such genetic tests are as effective — but not more effective — as family and personal history in assessing disease risk, and that these services may be medically useful to consumers only when information about traditional disease risk factors, such as family history, is not available."

Why "useful only when"? Why should it be one or the other anyway?

Genetics = cheap, reliable, one off test, ready at birth
Family history = hard to assemble, imprecise and unreliable
Trad risk factors = already ill

So, let's wait until I have I risk factors before taking any action. thanks doc.

Interesting unadvertised fact about family history is that it has yet to be proven by clinical trial - so far it has performed quite badly. Yet it is strongly touted by those who urge people to ignore genetic testing until it has been proven by clinical trial. see the CDC blog and discussion
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