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Annu Rev Public Health. 2010;31:1-8. doi: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.012809.103639.

Overview of the symposium on public health significance of genomics and eco-genetics.

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1
Center for Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, Departments of Internal Medicine and Human Genetics, and School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2218, USA. gomenn@umich.edu

Abstract

Genomic and genetic information is rapidly becoming a major element in public health research and emerging public health practice. This symposium reviews the methods, findings, and significance of genome-wide association studies from epidemiological and statistical points of view. We examine infectious and inflammatory components of gene-environment interaction in the respiratory system. We note the need for nutrient and dietary data and many other kinds of environmental exposure data in population-based genomic studies. Then we explore the sufficiency of a well-informed family history for public health and family counseling purposes. Finally, in an era of direct-to-consumer genomic test promotion, we review the evidence on the critical question, will genetic risk profiles motivate individuals and families to choose more healthful behaviors? This symposium builds on the foundation of the symposium on Public Health Genetics in Volume 21 (2000) of the Annual Review of Public Health.

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