Health Literacy and Genomics
Having genetic testing is beneficial for clients if their parents or grandparents have had inborn disorders such as cerebral palsy, schizophrenia, Huntington disease, Immune disorder, and cystic fibrosis that can lead to death.
Bad side of knowing the disease risk would be an increase in anxiety from knowing the genetic test results. If a person finds out that they are at risk of developing a genetic disease, they might change the way they live. The example will be a person who decides to get married and have children early. Also, good test results may influence how they live in a negative way, thinking that they will be okay, so it would be fine to stop exercising and start eating unhealthily.
I would want to know my genetic test results as early as one year old, if my children were at risk of having a debilitating condition or disease. Alexis is an example, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as an infant, but about five years later her mother's research found that the cause of difficulty with Alexis was dopamine deficiency. In the movie, soon as Alexis took dopamine she was able to walk and talk right on the next day. If she has done genetic testing early, she would have had a better life for the last 5 years (PBS NOVA 2015).
I think that health insurance companies would benefit from knowing their client's genetic information. When I applied for life insurance 10 years ago, a nurse came to visit my place and took urine and blood tests to give me a quote. The insurance company may benefit and predict their financial loss and gain by knowing the client’s genetic test results. For us as buyers of health insurance, depending on genetic testing results, we might have to pay higher fees.
I think that explaining genomic information to increase health literacy for the public can cause confusion (Zarcadoolas, Pleasant, & Geer, 2006). It is not simple for me to explain in health information what genes are and how they work. Genetic information is complex, and I would not feel comfortable explaining how genes work because I do not know how protein synthesis is processed accurately over time. Some people may carry genes that cause disease but that does not mean this person will become ill, because not all genes coding would be turned on (U.S. National Library of Medicine 2019). I went to hear a presentation at a conference a while ago and the doctor was explaining that not all genetic code would be expressed, so I have concluded for myself that bad coding could be turned on when we are in an unhealthy situation and having an unhealthy mind.
PBS NOVA 239E15- Cracking Your Genetic Code WGBH2. (2015). 33 1/3 Classic Music Hits Retributed from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Fq2mOCTX6k
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2019). Can genes be turned on and off in cells?. https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/howgeneswork/geneonoff
, C., Pleasant, A.F., & Greer, D.S. (2006). Genomics and health literacy. Advancing health literacy: A framework for understanding and action. . 202). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass A Wiley Imprint