Public attitudes about genetic testing for Alzheimer's disease

P J Neumann, J K Hammitt, C Mueller, H M Fillit, J Hill, N A Tetteh, K S Kosik
Health Affairs 2001, 20 (5): 252-64
In a general population survey (N = 314), 79 percent of respondents stated that they would take a hypothetical genetic test to predict whether they will eventually develop Alzheimer's disease. The proportion fell to 45 percent for a "partially predictive" test (which had a one in ten chance of being incorrect). Inclination to obtain testing was similar across age groups. Respondents were willing to pay $324 for the completely predictive test. Respondents stated that if they tested positive, they would sign advance directives (84 percent), get their finances in order (74 percent), and purchase long-term care insurance (69 percent). Only a third of respondents expressed concern about confidentiality. The results suggest that people value genetic testingfor personal and financial reasons, but they also underscore the need to counsel potential recipients carefully about the accuracy and implications of test information.

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