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More and More Considering Genetic Testing

Nearly a third of individuals in the US have considered genetic testing, NPR reports.

"This is now becoming a mass-market product. You know, you're seeing it in ads alongside soap and, you know, any other service or product that you might want," NPR's Scott Hensley tells Weekend Edition Sunday.

"We were just really trying to figure out a little bit more about the experience that people had, what their concerns were, also what they thought it might do for them," he adds.

Along with Truven Health Analytics Health Poll, NPR surveyed about 3,000 households in the US about their thoughts on genetic testing, both direct-to-consumer testing and clinical testing. Most people seeking DTC testing were interesting in learning more about their genealogy, they found, while those considering medical genetic testing wanted help with a diagnosis. NPR also found that 43 percent of respondents under the age of 35 were interested in genetic testing, which it notes was 10-percentage-point increase from their 2016 poll.

People do have concerns, though, about privacy, NPR says. About half the people they polled who'd undergone tested or had a family member who had said that while they were willing to share their data with family members or doctors, many did not want to share it with employers.