Misconceptions About the Role of Genomics

Five Misconceptions About the Role of Genomics in Public Health | Genomics and Health Impact Blog | Blogs | CDC

In a recent post, I reviewed the progress of genomics in public health over the past two decades and pondered on the lingering skepticism about genomics in the public health community.

I propose that this skepticism is driven, at least in part, by 5 common misconceptions about the role of genomics in public health. In this post, I present each of these misconceptions and discuss the reasons why each is incorrect.  

Collectively, these misconceptions impede progress in the integration of emerging genomic sciences into public health programs.

The rebuttal of each of the misconceptions is fully explained in the article:

Misconception 1:
Genomics is about rare diseases that have a small impact on public health

Misconception 2:
Genetic factors are less important than environmental, behavioral, and social determinants of health.

Misconception 3:
Genetic factors are non-modifiable and therefore merit little or no attention when it comes to public health programs and communication strategies.

Misconception 4:
Genomics is about the future: the evidence for using genomic information is not sufficient for use in practice today.

Misconception 5:
Genomics is in the domain of health care, and thus there is no need for public health programs to be involved.   

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