Differences between African American and White research volunteers in their attitudes, beliefs and knowledge regarding genetic testing for Alzheimer's disease.
Genetic susceptibility testing for common diseases is expanding, but little is known about race group differences in test perceptions. The purpose of this study was to examine differences between African Americans and Whites in knowledge, attitudes, and motivations regarding genetic susceptibility testing for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Before enrolling in an AD genetic testing research trial, 313 first-degree relatives of AD patients (20% African American; 71% female; mean age = 58 years) were surveyed regarding: (1) knowledge about genetics and AD risk; (2) concerns about developing AD; and (3) reasons for seeking testing. In comparison to Whites, African Americans were less knowledgeable about genetics and AD risk (p < .01) and less concerned about developing AD (p < .05), with lower levels of perceived disease risk (p = .04). The results suggest that African Americans and Whites differ notably in their knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes regarding genetic testing for AD. Additional research with more representative samples is needed to better understand these differences.
Akinleye, I; Roberts, JS; Royal, CDM; Linnenbringer, E; Obisesan, TO; Fasaye, G-A; Green, RC
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