Awareness of genetic testing for increased cancer risk in the year 2000 National Health Interview Survey

Community Genet. 2003;6(3):147-56. doi: 10.1159/000078162.


Objectives: This study explores factors associated with differential awareness of genetic tests for increased cancer risk in the US.

Methods: 27,405 respondents from the 2000 National Health Interview Survey, ages 25+, were asked if they had heard of these tests.

Results: 44.4% said 'yes', including 49.9% of whites, 32.9% of African-Americans, 32.3% of American Indians/Alaskan Natives, 28.0% of Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 20.6% of Hispanics. In multivariate analysis, test awareness was significantly associated with higher education, white race, age <60 years, female gender, private health insurance, personal or parent's history of certain cancers, physical activity, and vitamin/supplement use, among other factors.

Conclusions: The survey showed which population subgroups may lack access to cancer genetics information and may therefore benefit from targeted strategies to ensure risk-appropriate utilization of genetic counseling and testing.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Awareness*
  • Female
  • Genetic Testing / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States