Racial Differences in Beliefs about Genetic Screening among Patients at Inner-City Neighborhood Health Centers

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Racial disparities have been observed in a variety of diseases, including cancer incidence and death rates, obesity prevalence and diabetes mellitus. Unfortunately, racial disparity also occurs in use of medical services, including screening for certain cancers and immunizations. The obvious question is why these disparities occur. Unequal access to care is clearly one reason; differing cultural beliefs, values and trust in the medical system are other reasons.

Many diseases have a genetic basis and among high-risk groups genetic screening, at least in part, has the potential to identify who might benefit from early counseling and screening. Genetic testing may also help in treatment decisions by identifying which patients are more likely to respond to certain treatments or by identifying pathways for drug metabolism. However, participation in genetic screening is a complex decision that involves knowledge about genetics, knowledge about genetic screening, ethical and religious values, and concerns about discrimination. Some studies show racial differences in beliefs about genetic testing and racial disparities in the actual uptake of genetic testing. Understanding such differences is essential for a just distribution of resources and to respect for differing values. Viagra Professional 100 mg

The purposes of this paper were to identify racial differences in beliefs about the causes of diseases whose etiology is environmental (e.g., exposure to influenza virus), genetic (e.g., sickle cell disease) or a combination (obesity), and to explore racial differences in beliefs about genetic testing, ethical and religious values and concerns about discrimination. Our approach included both exploration and hypothesis testing of racial differences in these items. The population consisted of older adult patients attending four inner-city health centers that serve the economically disadvantaged, high proportions of minority patients and those with limited healthcare options. buy cheap levitra

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Tags: African Americans, beliefs, disparities, ethics, genetic testing, genetics

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