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Cortes F.,University of Chile | Cortes F.,Genetics Center | Mellado C.,University of Chile | Pardo R.A.,University of Chile | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A | Year: 2012

In January 2000, Chilean Ministry of Health mandated the addition of folic acid (FA) to wheat flour in order to reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs). This policy resulted in significant increases in serum and red cell folate in women of fertile age 1 year after fortification. To evaluate the effect of wheat flour fortification on the prevalence of NTDs in Chile we designed a prospective hospital-based surveillance program to monitor the frequency of NTDs in all births (live and stillbirths) with birth weight ≥500g at the nine public maternity hospitals of Santiago, Chile from 1999 to 2009. During the pre-fortification period (1999-2000) the NTD rate was 17.1/10,000 births in a total of 120,566 newborns. During the post-fortification period (2001-2009) the NTD rate decreased to 8.6/10,000 births in a total of 489,915 newborns, which translates into a rate reduction of 50% (RR: 0.5; 95% CI: 0.42-0.59) for all NTDs. The rate reduction by type of NTD studied was: 50% in anencephaly (RR: 0.5; 95% CI: 0.38-0.67), 42% in cephalocele (RR: 0.58; 95% CI: 0.37-0.89), and 52% in spina bifida (RR: 0.48; 95% CI: 0.38-0.6). Rates showed significant reduction both in stillbirths and live births: 510.3 to 183.6/10,000 (RR=0.36; 95% CI: 0.25-0.53) and 13.3 to 7.5/10,000 (RR=0.56; 95% CI: 0.47-0.68), respectively. In Chile, fortification of wheat flour with FA has proven to be an effective strategy for the primary prevention of NTDs. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Laedtke A.L.,Genetics Center | O'Neill S.M.,Northwestern University | Rubinstein W.S.,NorthShore University HealthSystem | Rubinstein W.S.,University of Chicago | Vogel K.J.,NorthShore University HealthSystem
Journal of Genetic Counseling | Year: 2012

Historically, physicians have expressed concern about their patients' risk of genetic discrimination, which has acted as a barrier to uptake of genetic services. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) is intended to protect patients against employer and health insurance discrimination. Physicians' awareness and knowledge of GINA has yet to be evaluated. In 2009, we mailed surveys to 1500 randomly selected members of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Questions measured physicians' current knowledge of GINA and their level of concern for genetic discrimination. In total, 401 physicians completed the survey (response rate 26.9%). Approximately half (54.5%) of physicians had no awareness of GINA. Of physicians who reported basic knowledge of GINA, the majority were aware of the protections offered for group health insurance (92.7%), private health insurance (82.9%), and employment (70.7%). Fewer physicians were aware of GINA's limitations regarding life insurance (53.7%) and long-term care insurance (58.8%). Physicians demonstrated highest levels of concern for health insurance, life insurance, and long-term care insurance discrimination, with less concern for employer and family/social discrimination. Level of concern for the risk of genetic discrimination did not correlate significantly with awareness of GINA. Approximately 17 months after GINA was signed into federal law, physicians' knowledge remained limited regarding the existence of this legislation and relevant details. Physicians who are aware of GINA continue to have significant concerns regarding the risk of genetic discrimination. This study reveals the need to further educate physicians about the existence of GINA and the protections offered. © National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 2011.

Dimmock D.P.,Medical College of Wisconsin | Dimmock D.P.,Genetics Center
Genetics in Medicine | Year: 2016

The published experience to date regarding implementing NBS for EIKD has been dramatically enhanced by the data presented in this issue by Orsini et al.2 Although much has been written about the potential harms to individuals with an abnormal NBS for EIKD who do not have EIKD, several commentators have also asked whether screening provides a benefit when it leads to early identification of the disorder .16 Orsini and colleagues' data suggest that the state-mandated, multimillion-dollar NBS program for EIKD in New York has failed to provide significant benefit to children with EIKD. Indeed, in addition to the potential harm to families receiving false-positive test results, NBS for EIKD appears to have resulted in a reduction in survival in individuals who have the disease. The data from the New York program suggest that NBS for EIKD should be abandoned, pending the development of improved screening or therapies shown to confer both survival and quality-of-life benefits over supportive care. The results of this experience suggest that research efforts should be focused on improving presymptomatic treatment outcomes in children identified by NBS prior to the redeployment of mandatory presymptomatic screening.

Vaz F.,Kings College London | Hanenberg H.,Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf | Hanenberg H.,Wells Center for Pediatric Research | Schuster B.,University of Wurzburg | And 17 more authors.
Nature Genetics | Year: 2010

Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare chromosomal-instability disorder associated with a variety of developmental abnormalities, bone marrow failure and predisposition to leukemia and other cancers. We have identified a homozygous missense mutation in the RAD51C gene in a consanguineous family with multiple severe congenital abnormalities characteristic of FA. RAD51C is a member of the RAD51-like gene family involved in homologous recombination-mediated DNA repair. The mutation results in loss of RAD51 focus formation in response to DNA damage and in increased cellular sensitivity to the DNA interstrand cross-linking agent mitomycin C and the topoisomerase-1 inhibitor camptothecin. Thus, biallelic germline mutations in a RAD51 paralog are associated with an FA-like syndrome. © 2010 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Tluczek A.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Orland K.M.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Cavanagh L.,Genetics Center
Qualitative Health Research | Year: 2011

This study was designed to develop a framework for understanding parents' perspectives about the psychosocial consequences of false-positive newborn screening (NBS) results for cystic fibrosis (CF). Through content analysis of interviews with 87 parents of 44 infants, we found that receipt of genetic information through NBS affected parents on intrapersonal and interpersonal levels within a relational family system. Repercussions included wondering about test accuracy, the child's health, and the future; gaining new perspectives and strengthening relationships; questioning paternity; wondering if other relatives had CF/were carriers; searching for the genetic source; sharing genetic information; supporting NBS; and feeling empathy for parents of affected children. We concluded that abnormal NBS results that involve genetic testing can have psychosocial consequences that affect entire families. These findings merit additional investigation of long-term psychosocial sequelae for false-positive results, interventions to reduce adverse iatrogenic outcomes, and the relevance of the relational family system framework to other genetic testing. © The Author(s) 2011.

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