Study reveals flaws in gene testing; results often conflict

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

The first report from a big project to improve genetic testing shows it is not as rock solid as many people believe.

Many companies offer gene tests to gauge a person's risk of developing various disorders. Several years ago, the government helped start a database to track the results. The study finds that labs often disagree on how harmful or benign certain gene variants are. That means some people are wrongly told to worry and others are wrongly told they can relax.

Researchers say consumers getting a gene test should choose a lab that is sharing its results with other scientists to help make testing more accurate for everyone.

The study was discussed Wednesday at a conference in Washington and published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.