This Week In The Bmj

Knowledge of genetic risk may not change behaviour

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7293.0/f (Published 28 April 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:f

Genetic developments make it increasingly likely that people will be given DNA based information about their chances of developing common preventable diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Marteau and Lerman (p 1056) examine the assumption that telling people about genetic risk will motivate them to change their behaviour. From the limited evidence available they conclude that people are not likely to change their behaviour in response to genetic risk information and in some cases information may have the undesirable effect of reducing the motivation to change.

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