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Get to know about some benefits and risks of direct-to-consumer genetic testing

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing means that you will get your genetic testing results without the involvement of any healthcare provider or health insurance company. This type of testing has both benefits and limitations. Remember that, direct-to-consumer testing is somewhat different from testing ordered by a healthcare provider.

The main benefit of preferring direct-to-consumer type testing is that it promotes awareness of genetic diseases. Also, you will get personalized information about your health and disease risks.

Furthermore, you will be more proactive about your health. The main thing is that this testing does not require approval from an intermediary.

DNA sample collection is usually simple and non-invasive; you will get results in a quick time. This direct-to-consumer option is also less expensive than genetic testing obtained with the help of a healthcare provider.

Genetic DNA Testing

Some risks and limitations

  • This is the main limitation as this type of testing cannot tell conclusively whether you will or will not get a particular disorder.
  • Unexpected information that you receive about your health may be stressful or upsetting.
  • In some cases, people may make important decisions about disease treatment based on inaccurate and incomplete information from their test results.
  • The risk of unproven tests can be misleading. There are also chances of insufficiency of enough scientific evidence to link a specific genetic variation with a given disorder.
  • Genetic privacy can also be compromised if any company uses your genetic information in an unauthorized way or if your results are stolen.
  • The result of direct-to-consumer testing can also affect your ability to get a life, disability, or long-term care insurance.

Genetic DNA Testing

The direct-to-consumer genetic testing option provides only half information about your health. Other genetic and environmental factors, family medical history, and lifestyle choices also affect the chances of developing many disorders.