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Consumers looking to understand online lab tests could consider doctors

Category: DNA, Paternity and Genetic testing

With genetic testing increasingly available to consumers without the need for a doctor's authorization, Americans can use online medical testing to learn about the likelihood of being diagnosed with congenital conditions later in life.

Making sense of the results may be difficult for some lay people who don't have the scientific expertise to understand some of the numbers. For that reason, the American College of Pharmacology recommends that consumers consider having their results double-checked by a healthcare professional after they have completed an online lab test.

The ACCP believes that adults will continue to want access to medical testing, but may not be aware of the therapeutic options available for the conditions outlined in their screening results. Adults may also not understand some numbers or measures that could be the sign of a disease not mentioned in the report, according to the organization.

As a supplement to self-testing, "clinical pharmacologists can help ensure that realistic expectations of genetic tests are communicated, thereby mitigating psychological, social, and medical risks," note the authors of an ACCP position paper.ADNFCR-2248-ID-19292485-ADNFCR

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