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March 9, 2011

Genetic Testing and Youth Sports

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Orthopedics and Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Dr Brooks); and Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit, Division of General Pediatrics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Dr Tarini).

JAMA. 2011;305(10):1033-1034. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.286

Genetic testing is becoming available to consumers for many applications such as ancestry exploration, future disease risk, and prenatal carrier testing. Now there is another option—sports performance from online genetic testing companies offering everything from single gene tests to multiplex testing of numerous purported sports performance genes. In the “winning is everything” sports culture, societal pressure to use these tests in children may increasingly present a challenge to unsuspecting physicians. The aim of this Commentary is to bring this issue to the attention of physicians, provide evidence regarding this testing, and encourage clinicians to advocate for young patients when necessary.