How popular at-home DNA tests are putting a strain on the NHS
24th December 2019
Excerpt from article:
Companies such as 23andMe and Ancestry allow people to get a breakdown of their genetic makeup and geographic heritage just by providing a saliva sample. Ancestry boasts some 15 million users, while 23andMe says it has 10 million.
But while they may seem like an unusual and “fun” gift, these popular Christmas presents are causing problems for Britain’s healthcare services.
Professor Anna Middleton, Chair, Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors said: “Despite recommendations from the European Society of Human Genetics and the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, which all state very clearly that genetic counselling should be provided pre and post test when you are testing for serious, life-threatening conditions, most commercial companies do not offer any level of support.
“They might signpost a customer to a YouTube video saying how great it is to be informed of your genetic risk, but they do not actually pick up the pieces.
“Those patients then turn up at clinics in the NHS very anxious and expecting the NHS to pick up the pieces.”