Being more realistic about the public health impact of genomic medicine

October 12, 2010

Wayne Hall, Rebecca Mathews and Katherine Morley discuss the limitations of genomic risk prediction for population-level preventive health care. Whilst genome-wide association studies and genomic sequencing have the potential to reveal susceptibilities to disease, they sound a note of caution about widescale implementation of such tests. In particular they point out that before genomic information is used in public health screening, it must first be shown that it predicts disease risk better than phenotypic information. They go on to point out that before genomic information can be used population wide, there must be cost-effective interventions available for those who would be found to be at risk, that such an approach would be more cost-effective than population-level interventions and finally that genetic risk information motivates the desired behaviour change. Currently there are no examples of genetic screening for disease risk that satisfy these criteria.
-end-
Funding: This work was funded by an NHMRC Australia Fellowship awarded to Wayne Hall. The funder played no role in the decision to submit the article or in its preparation.

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Citation: Hall WD, Mathews R, Morley KI (2010) Being More Realistic about the Public Health Impact ofGenomic Medicine. PLoS Med 7(10): e1000347. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000347

IN YOUR COVERAGE PLEASE USE THIS URL TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE FREELY AVAILABLE PAPER: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1000347

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: www.plos.org/press/plme-07-10-hall.pdf

CONTACT:

Wayne Hall
University of Queensland
UQ Centre for Clinical Research
Builiding 71/918
Royal Brisbane and Womens' Hospital
Herston, QLD 4029
Australia
61-7-3346-5471
61-7-3346-5598 (fax)
w.hall@uq.edu.au

PLOS

Related Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

CLCN6 identified as disease gene for a severe form of lysosomal neurodegenerative disease
A mutation in the CLCN6 gene is associated with a novel, particularly severe neurodegenerative disorder.

Cellular pathway of genetic heart disease similar to neurodegenerative disease
Research on a genetic heart disease has uncovered a new and unexpected mechanism for heart failure.

Mechanism linking gum disease to heart disease, other inflammatory conditions discovered
The link between periodontal (gum) disease and other inflammatory conditions such as heart disease and diabetes has long been established, but the mechanism behind that association has, until now, remained a mystery.

Potential link for Alzheimer's disease and common brain disease that mimics its symptoms
A new study by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital uncovered a group of closely related genes that may capture molecular links between Alzheimer's disease and Limbic-predominant Age-related TDP-43 Encephalopathy, or LATE, a recently recognized common brain disorder that can mimic Alzheimer's symptoms.

Antioxidant agent may prevent chronic kidney disease and Parkinson's disease
Researchers from Osaka University developed a novel dietary silicon-based antioxidant agent with renoprotective and neuroprotective effects.

Tools used to study human disease reveal coral disease risk factors
In a study published in Scientific Reports, a team of international researchers led by University of Hawai'i (UH) at Mānoa postdoctoral fellow Jamie Caldwell used a statistical technique typically employed in human epidemiology to determine the ecological risk factors affecting the prevalence of two coral diseases--growth anomalies, abnormalities like coral tumors, and white syndromes, infectious diseases similar to flesh eating bacteria.

Disease-aggravating mutation found in a mouse model of neonatal mitochondrial disease
The new mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variant drastically speeds up the disease progression in a mouse model of GRACILE syndrome.

Human longevity largest study of its kind shows early detection of disease & disease risks
Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI) announced the publication of a ground-breaking study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

30-year study identifies need of disease-modifying therapies for maple syrup urine disease
A new study analyzes 30 years of patient data and details the clinical course of 184 individuals with genetically diverse forms of Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), which is among the most volatile and dangerous inherited metabolic disorders.

Long-dormant disease becomes most dominant foliar disease in New York onion crops
Until recently, Stemphylium leaf blight has been considered a minor foliar disease as it has not done much damage in New York since the early 1990s.

Read More: Disease News and Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.