Awareness and utilization of genetic testing among Hispanic and Latino adults living in the US: The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos

HGG Adv. 2022 Nov 19;4(1):100160. doi: 10.1016/j.xhgg.2022.100160. eCollection 2023 Jan 12.


We investigated the awareness, perceived usefulness, and use of genetic testing among Hispanic and Latino individuals. Annual follow-up surveys for the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) from 2019 to April 2020 assessed participants' level of awareness and use of genetic tests to determine disease risks, likelihood of passing disease to children, disease treatment, or drug selection. They also were asked to rate the usefulness of the tests for managing a person's health on a 1 (not at all useful) to 10 (extremely useful) scale. There were 5,769 HCHS/SOL participants who completed at least one survey question. Of the target population, 55.2% was aware of at least one type of genetic test. Awareness varied between HCHS/SOL enrollment sites and was higher among individuals who had higher educational attainment and had higher incomes. Only 3.3% of the target population reported receiving one or more of the tests described. HCHS/SOL individuals rated the usefulness as 8.4, on average, with lower scores observed among U.S.-born individuals compared to individuals born outside the United States, with differences by HCHS/SOL enrollment sites. In conclusion, while awareness of genetic testing among Hispanic and Latino individuals varies by location, education, and income, perceptions about its usefulness are high while experiences with testing are rare. Results identify groups and locations that may benefit from greater outreach about the capabilities of genetic testing and precision medicine.

Keywords: Hispanic or Latino; awareness; genetic testing, ELSI; perceived usefulness; population-based study; survey.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Genetic Testing*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Hispanic or Latino* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Public Health*
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology