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Would You Consider DNA Testing to Find out Potential Future Health Issues?

A company is seeking FDA approval to allow for personal DNA testing.

A gene-testing company, 23andMe, announced it is seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its personal DNA testing.

According to an article in Time Magazine, this allows people to take a look into their genetic makeup and possibly a look into what it could mean for them, healthwise, in the future. With scientists reporting new gene-based discoveries almost daily, which enables them to zero in on the cause of diseases, it is likely this DNA testing could give people a look into health issues they could face at some time in the future.

The company is offering a saliva sample analysis for $299. This information is then shared with the person via a secure website, which includes access to ancestry features as well as health reports. This includes risks for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's and whether they carry the gene for cystic fibrosis.

Is this something that you think should get FDA approval and be available to anybody who wants it? Would you like a glimpse into your genetic makeup and what it might mean in potential health issues at some time in your future? Tell us in comments. 

Sharon Swanepoel August 16, 2012 at 02:01 PM
As long as you can accept the information without being paranoid, I can't see how it wouldn't be a benefit. If you know you're a much higher risk for something, you can focus on lifestyle choices that make for a better outcome - like staying off the sugars if your DNA says you have a high risk for diabetes, etc.
Rebecca McCarthy August 16, 2012 at 02:25 PM
One of my family members may have the BRC gene for breast cancer, but she doesn't want to know. Because her insurance carrier would drop her like a poop from a tall pony. So she can't get the test, even though she wants to, given her family history....
Gail Lane August 16, 2012 at 05:35 PM
I think this is one of those things where our laws and policies haven't quite caught up with science. Like Rebecca pointed out, are you responsible for then telling your health insurance carrier that you have a specific genetic tendency? Or perhaps with our healthcare reform this might not be an issue? I'm not really sure how I feel about this. If it would save the life of a loved one, I'd be all for it as a means to secure the right treatment but for myself ... I'm just not sure!
Neil Sherrod August 18, 2012 at 03:13 PM
I would love to have that information, but how do you make sure it stays private? --Neil Sherrod, Randolph County

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