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What should we know about home medical testing for genetics?

At home genetic tests for medical information are now inexpensive and easy to get but counselors at St. Elizabeth Healthcare say if you choose to buy one there are a few things to take into consideration. (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - At-home genetic tests for medical information are now inexpensive and easy to get, but counselors at St. Elizabeth Healthcare say if you choose to buy one there are a few things to take into consideration.

Search home genetic medical testing and a lot of choices pop up.

Jaime Grund, a hospital-based genetic counselor, suggests you follow up with a healthcare provider for confirmation and context.

"I think it's great for what it's meant to do, which is entertainment," said Grund. "It's for fun, so its perfect for the person who wants to learn where their ancestry is from, are they going to go bald, sweet versus salty... you know that kind of thing. It's meant to do that. Our concern starts to come when people want to use direct-to-consumer at-home testing for medical management."

A recent study found you can have false positives from some direct-to-consumer tests.

"Your genetic information needs to be interpreted within your family tree. It can't stand alone."

She also says unless you get a test that uses saliva or blood for detailed analysis, you may get limited information from tests-- for example, saying they will soon test for breast cancer genes.

"What they are offering to add to this direct-to-consumer testing is extremely limited. They are testing for three mutations, out of thousands."

You can call 859-301-5396 to get more information on genetic counseling.

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