Willingness to pay for genetic testing for Alzheimer's disease: a measure of personal utility

Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 2011 Dec;15(12):871-5. doi: 10.1089/gtmb.2011.0028. Epub 2011 Jul 12.


Background: The increased availability of genetic tests for common, complex diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), raises questions about what people are willing to pay for these services.

Methods: We studied willingness-to-pay for genetic testing in a study of AD risk assessment that included APOE genotype disclosure among 276 first-degree relatives of persons with AD.

Results: Seventy-one percent reported that they would ask for such testing from their doctor if it were covered by health insurance, and 60% would ask for it even if it required self-pay. Forty-one percent were willing to pay more than $100 for testing, and more than half would have been willing to pay for the test out of pocket. Participants who learned that they were APOE ε4 positive and those who had higher education were less likely to want testing if covered by insurance, possibly to avoid discrimination.

Conclusion: This is the first report to examine willingness to pay for susceptibility genetic testing in a sample of participants who had actually undergone such testing. These findings reveal that some participants find valuable personal utility in genetic risk information even when such information does not have proven clinical utility.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Disclosure
  • Family
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genetic Testing / economics*
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Assessment


  • Apolipoproteins E