Insurance Industry Discriminates Unfairly On Basis Of Genetic Information

December 11, 1998

Genetic discrimination in life insurance: empirical evidence from a cross sectional survey of genetic support groups in the United Kingdom

People from families with known genetic disorders are not being treated consistently by insurers, says a paper published in this week's BMJ. Written by Lawrence Low and colleagues at the Wellcome Trust, the study found that only one in 20 people with no known genetic disorders encountered problems when applying for life insurance as opposed to one third of people from families with genetic disorders. The authors suggest that insurance companies' decisions are irrational and that they are not being based on the actual risk of genetic disorder in these applicants.

Low et al surveyed 7,000 members of seven British support groups for families with genetic disorders. These groups included:- Cystic Fibrosis Trust; Huntington's Disease Association; Marfan Association UK; (Duchenne)Muscular Dystrophy Group; Myotonic Dystrophy Group; Neurofibromatosis Association and Tuberous Sclerosis Association.

The authors conclude that it does not appear from their findings that the insurance industry is operating a conscious policy of genetic discrimination; rather they are showing confusion and ignorance when interpreting genetic information, which is being misunderstood outside of its clinical context.

Contact:

Noorece Ahmed, Press Office, Wellcome Trust, London email:n.ahmed@wellcome.ac.uk
-end-


BMJ

Related Genetic Disorders Articles from Brightsurf:

Genetic causes of severe childhood brain disorders found using new computational methods
A team of researchers have combined clinical information with large-scale genomic data to successfully link characteristic presentations of childhood epilepsies with specific genetic variants.

A step toward a better way to make gene therapies to attack cancer, genetic disorders
A UCLA-led research team today reports a new method for delivering DNA into stem cells and immune cells safely, rapidly and economically.

International study completes the largest genetic map of psychiatric disorders so far
An international study published in the journal Cell, has described 109 genetic variants associated with eight psychiatric disorders: autism, ADHD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette Syndrome, in a total of about 230,000 patients worldwide.

Key modifier identified in large genetic deletion related to neurodevelopmental disorders
Neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia and autism, likely result from complex interactions that modify the effects of individual genes, according to new research.

Mood disorders on genetic spectrum
Researchers shed new light on the genetic relationship between three mood disorders associated with depression--major depression and bipolar disorder types 1 and 2, in a new study in the journal Biological Psychiatry, published by Elsevier.

Experimental therapy may offer hope for rare genetic disorders
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have developed a new way to alleviate problems caused by dysfunctional mitochondria, which are the ''powerhouses'' that produce energy in cells

Are there shared genetic factors between weight and major psychiatric disorders?
Data from 1.3 million people were used to investigate genetic overlap between body mass index and major psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression.

Large study reveals PTSD has strong genetic component like other psychiatric disorders
In the largest and most diverse genetic study of PTSD to date, scientists from UC San Diego School of Medicine and more than 130 institutions in the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium found that genetics accounts for 5 to 20% of the variability in PTSD risk following a traumatic event.

Association of genetic risk to psychotic experiences with neuropsychiatric disorders
Data from the UK Biobank were used to examine whether genetic risk to psychotic experiences is shared with neuropsychiatric disorders.

Genetic study of impulsiveness reveals associations with psychiatric disorders
Impulsiveness and substance use share a genetic basis, according to genome-wide association studies published in JNeurosci by academic and industry researchers.

Read More: Genetic Disorders News and Genetic Disorders 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.