By Victor E. Long, Esq.
An article in the New England Journal of Medicne concludes that it is too early to provide stable estimates of genetic risk for many diseases. However, several companies have begun offering direct to consumer testing. With larger sample sizes or by combining studies, accurate prediction of genetic risk will be possible. However, urgent guidelines are needed to assist physicians who advise patients considering this type of testing. Harvard researchers, caution doctors, patients and consumers to be skeptical about estimates of genetic risk based on the latest findings, especially given interventions that might have even riskier side effects. A person’s actual DNA sequence may stand the test of time, but genetic risk profiles are likely to evolve as science zips ahead.