At-risk persons' attitudes toward presymptomatic and prenatal testing of Huntington disease in Michigan

Am J Med Genet. 1987 Feb;26(2):295-305. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.1320260207.


One hundred fifty-five individuals at 50% risk of inheriting Huntington disease (HD) were given a questionnaire surveying their sociodemographic characteristics, experience with HD, and attitudes toward presymptomatic and prenatal testing in HD. About two-thirds (63.2%) of the persons indicated they would take a presymptomatic test even if no specific treatment was available. Although one-half (49%) of the respondents stated they would make use of a prenatal test, only 43% of these individuals would decide to terminate a heterozygous fetus. Presymptomatic test results indicating carrier status would influence some of the respondents' decisions about marriage and childbearing. This strong interest of at-risk persons to make use of both presymptomatic and prenatal diagnosis in HD indicates the need for well-organized testing programs. These programs must be designed to address the genetic, psychosocial, and ethical issues that may arise in the use of this type of genetic test.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude
  • Female
  • Genetic Testing*
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease / diagnosis
  • Huntington Disease / genetics
  • Huntington Disease / psychology*
  • Male
  • Marriage
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Risk
  • Surveys and Questionnaires