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December 6, 2019

DNA-Based Population Screening: Potential Suitability and Important Knowledge Gaps

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Genetics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 2Department of Genetics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 3Office of Genomics and Precision Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
JAMA. 2020;323(4):307-308. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.18640

The 2 most common causes of death in the United States are cancer and heart disease. Screening, defined as the process of proactively identifying disease risk, is pursued as part of routine medical care of adults. Standardized imaging-based screening (eg, mammography), procedure-based screening (eg, colonoscopy), and laboratory-based screening (eg, measurement of blood cholesterol levels) exist for cancer and heart disease; however, there is not currently any recommended use of DNA-based screening in these disease areas.

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