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October 9, 1996

Genetic Testing of Families With Hereditary Diseases-Reply

Author Affiliations

Georgetown University Medical Center Washington, DC
Women's College Hospital Toronto, Ontario
Creighton University Medical Center Omaha, Neb

JAMA. 1996;276(14):1140. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540140028019

In Reply.  —We thank Dr Olopade and Dr Thurmon for sharing their data on use of genetic counseling. Consistent with other studies,1,2 these reports suggest that rates of utilization of genetics services may vary substantially depending on such factors as mode of enrollment and financial costs. We agree strongly with Olopade's comments about the need to improve access to genetic testing research protocols, and we hope that this will be achieved by the Cancer Genetics Network, a national cooperative study on cancer genetics and testing proposed by the National Institutes of Health.3We also appreciate the clarification by Dr Wexler regarding the conclusions of a previous study of predictive testing for the HD gene.4 Wexler also highlights the important fact that some individuals who received HD gene test results did experience adverse psychological effects. As we have pointed out, examination of average responses in study groups may obscure important