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Study to probe how healthy younger adults make use of genetic tests

BETHESDA, Md., May 3, 2007The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), parts of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have teamed with Group Health Cooperative in Seattle and Henry Ford Health System in Detroit to launch a study to investigate the interest level of healthy, young adults in receiving genetic testing for eight common conditions. Called the Multiplex Initiative, the study will also look at how people who decide to take the tests will interpret and use the results in making their own health care decisions in the future.

The test being used is designed to yield information about 15 different genes that play roles in type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and malignant melanoma.

"The Multiplex Initiative will provide insights that will be key to advancing the concept of personalized medicine," said NHGRI Scientific Director Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D. "As genomic technologies are introduced for wider use, researchers and clinicians will need to know how genetic susceptibility tests will be received by patients. This study will be an important first step in understanding how such testing can be practically used in primary care settings."

Researchers at Henry Ford Health System, a major health provider in metropolitan Detroit, are recruiting individuals between the ages of 25 and 40 to volunteer to participate in the study. The participants are being selected through patient lists from Health Alliance Plan, the largest managed care plan in Michigan, owned by Henry Ford Health System and the Henry Ford Medical Group, the health system's group medical practice of more than 900 physicians and scientists. A total of 1,000 participants who meet the study's eligibility requirements will be offered free multiplex genetic testing.

Multiplex tests, such as the one being used in this
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Contact: Raymond MacDougall
macdougallr@mail.nih.gov
301-402-0911
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
3-May-2007


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