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BMJ. 1995 Jul 1;311(6996):35-8.

Population screening for genetic susceptibility to disease.

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  • 1Department of Medical Genetics, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff.


Genetic screening for susceptibility to common diseases, such as the common cancers, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, may soon be technically feasible. Commercial interests should not be allowed to introduce such screening before proper evaluation or without adequate counselling and support. The evaluation of such testing should include psychosocial and medical outcomes and outcomes for those given low risks as well as high risks. These tests may distract attention away from environmental factors contributing to disease, for which social and political measures may be more appropriate than individualised susceptibility screening and lifestyle modification.

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