ing women from taking birth control pills who are heterozygous for Factor V Leiden would create many more medical complications from unwanted pregnancies than it would prevent clotting problems. “We have to think very hard before we say that we are going to tell millions of people that they are at a high risk for clotting, when the reality is that it is a very modest risk factor,” he said. In addition, as Calonge pointed out, false positives will be generated by these genetic tests in a pre-event prevention setting, and harms could be associated with those mistaken test results. He also noted that, for most individuals, just knowing you are at increased risk for a disease is insufficient to change behavior and suggested that West’s family may not be representative of the average population in adopting changes.

Another topic of discussion was the focus to date of genomic data on some populations and not others. A number of panelists agreed that much more genomic data on different racial and ethnic groups are needed and that caution should be used when interpreting information for different groups. Ashley pointed out that databases of single nucleotide polymorphisms are being developed that are much more heterogeneous in terms of populations studied.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement