Routine DNA Screening Moves Into Primary Care

Monday, June 4, 2018

NPR Health News, by M. Andrews

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If you have a genetic mutation that increases your risk for a treatable medical condition, would you want to know? For many people the answer is yes. But typically such information has not been a part of routine primary care.

For patients at Geisinger Health System, that could soon change. Starting in the next month or so, the Pennsylvania-based system will offer DNA sequencing to 1,000 patients, with the goal of eventually extending the offer to all 3 million Geisinger patients.

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The health system's test will look for mutations in at least 77 genes. Many have been associated with medical conditions — dozens of them, ranging from heart disease to cancer. Others have been linked to variability in how people respond to certain medicines based on heredity.