Christine M. Swoboda, Akemi T. Wijayabahu, Naleef Fareed
The purpose of this study was to examine the trends in who obtains genetic tests, and opinions about how genes affect health. Cross-sectional survey data from Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) 5, Cycle 4 was used. This data was collected from adults 18 years of age or older who completed mailed surveys sent by the National Cancer Institute between January and April 2020. The sample consisted of 2,947 respondents who answered the question ‘Have you ever had a genetic test’? 727 had a test and 2,220 did not have a test. The measures used included survey questions that asked whether respondents obtained certain kinds of genetic tests, who they shared test results with, whether they believed genes affect health status, and their demographic and cancer status information. Multivariate logistic regression models were developed to assess which demographic variables were associated with having different kinds of genetic tests, and whether those who had genetic tests had different opinions about genetic testing and the influence of genes on health. We found that female respondents [OR: 1.9; CI: (1.2–3.1)] had higher odds of having any genetic tests while Hispanic [OR: 0.5; CI: (0.2–1.0)] respondents had lower odds. Our findings indicate that there are demographic disparities in who received genetic tests, and that cancer risk alone does not explain the differences in prevalence of genetic testing.
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