Parents Likely to Request Gene Tests for Kids

The advancement of medicine and knowledge of genetics has opened up the door for many different ways to find potential health risk factors in a human being. While it has been met with some controversy, pediatricians are now able to administer tests on a child to determine their chances of having to deal with some diseases when they are adults.

According to a recent survey, the majority of parents would be willing and interested in having a genetic test completed on their child to determine whether the child is susceptible to certain adult diseases. The diseases that can be assessed include diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, skin cancer, colon cancer and even lung cancer.

The survey results were based on the responses of over 200 parents, who were asked whether they would approve such a test being completed on their child. The most significant reason why a parent was willing to approve such a test was to better prepare their child throughout childhood to avoid being afflicted with the disease. While most parents were in favor of the tests, others cited several risks including invasion of privacy or lack of benefit from the test.

“These tests usually don’t offer a clean bill of health and can be hard to interpret even in the best scenario,” study author Dr. Kenneth P. Tercyak, associate professor of oncology and pediatrics at Georgetown University Medical Center, said in a written statement. Most people carry some risk for common ailments, based on a combination of family history, heredity, and lifestyle, Tercyak said.

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