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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Pan Ethnic Approach To Genetic Screening

Oddly as we have honed in on unique family diseases and traits, it turns out we are all each others family. Your primary care physician may be very interested in your family history as a window on your past and future heath needs, however, are we barking up the right (family) tree? It's still a good idea to be mindful of your family's health, and great tools can help you track this. Family history is important, but the critical question is "do we really know all our genetic family history." The intermixing of populations has gone on for many generations and it's difficult to determine "high risk" for diseases in the old way according to Dr. Ron Wapner in a Dec 2013 discussion in Ob Gyn News. He also cautions that both partners should be screened and counseled together if possible, and we should remember that screening never eliminates all risk of a particular condition. And at Women's Health Practice we urge revisiting this subject often as technology is moving fast and you may need repeat testing, especially if newly pregnant. Recent studies point to lapses in the risk based screenings. It may be best to get basic screening panels for the majority of genetic diseases, prior to pregnancy, no matter what your ethnicity is.

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