London, UK (PRWEB UK) 20 January 2014
At the end of 2013 ‘Secretary of State for Health’ Jeremy Hunt said that he wanted Britain to become the first country to routinely sequence people’s genomes to help the NHS plan for our futures. *(1)
Findings from the http://www.dnatestingchoice.com survey of 2170 UK adults carried out by YouGov showed that a staggering 83% of British Adults (41.7m) think it’s worthwhile to test a child’s DNA.
The survey, thought to be first of British attitudes to the DNA testing of children, also highlighted the fact that worryingly over half of adults (53%) believe it would be worthwhile to test a child’s DNA for identification in case of abduction. The issue of child abduction has recently come to the fore following high profile kidnap cases of Madeline McCann and Ben Needham and only last week the 3 year old Mikaeel Kular who vanished.
The findings are today released to coincide with the launch of UK website dnatestingchoice.com – the world’s first news and review site about genetics modelled on ‘Trip Advisor’ to satisfy growing consumer demand for DNA tests to be taken at home as the costs of some tests have plummeted to £65.
Alarming levels of trust among partners has also been exposed by the survey. An incredible 67% of adults (33.6m) believe it would be worthwhile to test a child’s DNA to identify who their father is. Paternity testing is already on our agenda and popularised by TV programmes like ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show’ and ‘Tricia’.
Long-term health factors and risk of common diseases like obesity and diabetes and were also of major concern to adults. 38% of British adults (19.1m) believe it worthwhile to test a child’s DNA to assess their risk of diabetes and 19% (9.5m) believe it worthwhile to assess the child’s risk of obesity allowing parents to adapt the lifestyle for longer and better health.
Surprisingly men are more likely than women to believe that it worthwhile to test a child’s DNA to assess their risk of obesity. Findings showed that British men (25% of those surveyed) are nearly twice more likely than British women (14%) to believe it’s worthwhile to test a child’s DNA to assess the risk of obesity.
The survey found a number of regional differences in attitudes. Adults in Scotland (42%) are more likely, compared to the rest of the UK (38%), to believe it’s worthwhile to test a child’s DNA to assess the risk of diabetes. While in Northern Ireland a staggering quarter of those surveyed (25%) are more likely, compared to the UK (19%), to think it’s worthwhile to test a children’s DNA to assess their risk of obesity. Adults in the South West (72%) in Cities like Bristol and Plymouth are more likely compared to the rest of the UK (67%) to believe it’s worthwhile to test a child’s DNA to identify who the father is.
A relatively new hot topic is the role DNA plays in determining the success of a child’s education. Findings show that adults in Scotland (7%) are more likely, compared to the rest of the UK (5%), to believe it’s worthwhile to test a child’s DNA to tailor their education accordingly.
Craig Macpherson, founder of dnatestingchoice.com said, “Whilst I agree with the Health Secretary (Jeremy Hunt) that it’s important that we routinely test the DNA of children, I do not believe that the NHS should be burdened with conducting these tests. This should be an individual parental decision and should be done after comprehensive research, which is where we come in.
There is no doubt that DNA tests can highlight many factors of likely risk, which can help parents, armed with this information to adapt their lifestyle and ensure their children start and continue their life healthy and safe. We need to educate parents about the role genetics plays in our child’s heath journey and that it can be key in understanding their predisposition to certain diseases. I believe we are at the tipping point where DNA tests at home will become important lifestyle tools to use as part of disease prevention and health maintenance”.
2.3m DNA tests are expected to be taken at home this year with a likely surge in ‘genetic predisposition’ tests to assess people’s risk of catching diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes’s and cancer as people turn to their genomes for answers to an array of questions about better and longer health which looks set to turn personal healthcare on its head.
Parents interested in learning more about DNA testing of their children or for their own health maintenance programme should go to http://www.dnatestingchoice.com for the most comprehensive review of tests available and for a round up on the latest genetic developments from around the world.
BACKGROUND NOTES TO EDITORS
These population figures have been obtained from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) where we have applied a % of the population figures to get the actual number of people.
‘dnatestingchoice.com’ is a ‘Trip Advisor’ style website which enables UK consumers to buy, compare and contrast the latest DNA tests to be taken at home as well as access the most up-to-date information on genetics pooled from worldwide research re-written in layman’s terms. The site rates 99% of the UK providers (both public and expert review) and covers the full range of available consumer tests including for: Paternity, Health Risk and Ancestral roots to name the most popular. The site is the brainchild of biology scholar and online marketing guru Craig Macpherson who has seen first hand how the explosion of DNA tests taken at home have helped thousands to learn more about their genetic disposition. ‘dnatestingchoice.com’ is the ‘worlds first’ comparison site for DNA tests taken at home and is born out of a growing public interest in testing spurred on by popular television programming including ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show’ and ‘Tricia’ where DNA tests have become the mainstay of the programme. ‘dnatestingchoice.com’ is pro DNA Testing and is designed to encourage people to look at how consumer tests can give a valuable insight into their future. According to Google Trends, searches for the word ‘DNA Test’ have increased by over 100% in the last year. 2014 is expected to be the year of the DNA test for 3 reasons: wider availability, reduced price and public awareness of its use in predicting health risk highlighted by the plight of Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie who learnt she had an 87% risk of breast cancer after taking DNA Test which allowed her to make an informed decision to have a full mastectomy.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2170 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th - 18th December 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).