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Not Recommended

Among its latest recommendations, NPS MedicineWise says people shouldn't seek genetic testing on their own, the Guardian reports. NPS MedicineWise is an Australian organization that develops guidelines for physicians with input from medical societies, colleges, and others, it adds

According to the Guardian, the Human Genetics Society of Australasia cautions that such tests could lead to unneeded tests and investigations. In particular, the society's Jack Goldblatt says direct-to-consumer testing of the MTHFR and APOE genes is worrisome as results could be mistakenly interpreted to suggest disease is inevitable or to give false assurances.

"If the likelihood of improved outcomes from the use of a test for the gene is extremely low, then it should not be undertaken," he adds. "Genetic tests are best performed in a clinical setting with the provision of personalized genetic counseling and professional interpretation of tests results, for patients to understand the further implications of the results."

Similarly, the Guardian reports that the Gastroenterological Society of Australia recommends that genetic testing not be used for celiac disease. It notes that about a third of the population carries the celiac-linked gene mutation, but that only 1.4 percent of the population actually develops the disease.

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