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Awareness of Genetic Testing for Increased Cancer Risk in the Year 2000 National Health Interview Survey

Wideroff L. · Thomas Vadaparampil S. · Breen N. · Croyle R.T. · Freedman A.N.
National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, Bethesda, Md., USA Community Genet 2003;6:147–156 (DOI:10.1159/000078162)


Objectives: This study explores factors associated with differential awareness of genetic tests for increased cancer risk in the US. Methods: 27,405 respondents from the 2000 National Health Interview Survey, ages 25+, were asked if they had heard of these tests. Results: 44.4% said ‘yes’, including 49.9% of whites, 32.9% of African-Americans, 32.3% of American Indians/Alaskan Natives, 28.0% of Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 20.6% of Hispanics. In multivariate analysis, test awareness was significantly associated with higher education, white race, age <60 years, female gender, private health insurance, personal or parent’s history of certain cancers, physical activity, and vitamin/supplement use, among other factors. Conclusions: The survey showed which population subgroups may lack access to cancer genetics information and may therefore benefit from targeted strategies to ensure risk-appropriate utilization of genetic counseling and testing.


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