Genomics Day 2005: Genomics Day 2005: Public Health Genomics at CDC
Group 5: Communicating Genetic Information
The prevalence of prenatal discussion of genetic screening
Whitehead NS1, Rasmussen S2, Posner S1, Cox S11.
(2) NCBDDD, CDC
Prenatal testing for genetic diseases or birth defects allows families to make informed choices. Some studies have found that usage of prenatal genetic testing varies among different racial and ethnic groups and by education and socioeconomic status. To utilize genetic testing, however, women must be aware it is available. Information and screening provided during prenatal care can vary by many factors. We used data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System for 2000 – 2002 births in 26 states to examine the proportion of women who received information about genetic testing during their prenatal care and the characteristics associated with receiving the information. Overall, 86% of women who received first trimester prenatal care reported that someone discussed genetic testing with them. In all groups, most women were informed about genetic tests but women 35 years old or older (90%), non-Hispanic (87%), Maine residents (91%), who had 16 or more years of education (88%), private insurance (88%) or private health care provider (86%) were most likely to report such discussions. Women under 18 (81%), Hispanic (77%), Arkansas residents (77%), who had less than 12 years of education (81%), no insurance (74%), or a public health care provider (81%) were least likely to report these discussions. More research is needed to determine whether these women are less likely to receive such information or less likely to remember it.