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Human Genome Epidemiology, 2nd EditionBuilding the evidence for using genetic information to improve health and prevent disease$
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Muin Khoury, Sara Bedrosian, Marta Gwinn, Julian Higgins, John Ioannidis, and Julian Little

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195398441

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195398441.001.0001

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The use of family history in public health practice: the epidemiologic view

The use of family history in public health practice: the epidemiologic view

Chapter:
(p.579) 29 The use of family history in public health practice: the epidemiologic view
Source:
Human Genome Epidemiology, 2nd Edition
Author(s):

Rodolfo Valdez

Muin J. Khoury

Paula W. Yoon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195398441.003.0029

With the advent of molecular genetics, the accelerated mapping of human genes to specific chromosome locations was made possible without the use of detailed pedigrees. Moreover, following the sequencing of the human genome, new techniques now allow for the scanning of entire genomes in search of genes or gene markers associated with a given trait, regardless of the pattern of inheritance. Among these major advances, however, it is not likely that an instrument as useful as family history will be rendered obsolete as a genomic tool. This chapter argues not only that the use of family history will continue to be valid in clinical settings, but also that family history is poised to become a tool of widespread use in public health settings. Since the emphasis will be on the latter argument, the clinical aspects of family history are briefly addressed.

Keywords:   genomics, family history, public health practice, disease risk factors

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