A report by scientists in the US has claimed that parents support the introduction of genetic testing on children, as they believe it is preferable to the negative consequences of not testing . The research, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that many parents that were offered genetic testing felt their children should also be tested in this way.
The research involved 219 parents being tested for 15 genetic variants linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, as well as skin, colon and lung cancer . The parents were also questioned about the benefits of reassurance, knowledge and prevention, against risks such as psychological discomfort and the invasion of privacy.
The study state that “parents offered the genetic susceptibility test for common preventable conditions tended to consider that the potential benefits of this test for their own child could outweigh its risks.”
However, non-profit lobby group Genewatch UK have stated that children should never be genetically tested for adult conditions. Helen Wallace, a director of Genewatch UK, commented “Online gene tests frequently give misleading results because most common conditions such as cancer, obesity or diabetes are not predicable from a person’s genes, except in special circumstances.”
She added “Children should not be tested for risk of adult-onset conditions, full stop. They should be allowed to decide for themselves, with medical advice, when they are grown up.”

Get our free newsletters

Stay up to date with the latest news, research and breakthroughs.

You May Also Like

Top diabetes professor drafts risk assessment document for frontline COVID-19 staff

The health and wellbeing of frontline NHS staff has been prioritised among…

Coronavirus: UK instructed to stay at home this weekend

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that staying at home this weekend…

Conversation about doctors’ appointments occurring virtually rumbles on

More than half of GP appointments are still being delivered remotely in…