To the Sports Editor:
Re “In N.C.A.A., Question of Bias Over a Test for a Genetic Trait,” April 12: The article on testing for the sickle-cell trait in athletes raises many of the same issues often found in direct-to-consumer genetic testing services: too much information, not enough knowledge.
As a population, those with sickle-cell trait have life expectancies similar to those of noncarriers. Although there are definitive associations with increased morbidity and mortality, carriers of the genes may irrationally curtail otherwise normal activity.
Alternatively, given the real and perceived discrimination against carriers, many may choose not to be tested and will not have the requisite knowledge to avoid activities that could cause real harm.
In direct-to-consumer genetic testing or the testing of athletes, education and greater public awareness are the keys to preventing disaster.
Dov Greenbaum & Mark Gerstein
Above is a published letter, with the following citation:
D Greenbaum & M Gerstein (2010). "Testing Isn’t Everything," NY Times (17 Apr.)
It is response to:
In N.C.A.A., Question of Bias Over a Test for a Genetic Trait
By KATIE THOMAS and BRETT ZARDA
Published: April 11, 2010
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