Health Notes: Genetic testing is a growth business -- and good for your health, study claims

In a new report, The American Clinical Laboratory Association asserts that genetic testing and genomic clinical lab testing generates 116,000 jobs -- 44,000 directly, the rest indirectly -- and contributes $16.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy.

In addition to its economic effects, the report claims that innovative genetic tests are "enabling a revolution in medical care that is improving America's health and well-being ... by identifying the genetic nature of a disease or condition, thereby allowing physicians to better target treatment." As a result, significantly better treatment outcomes are occurring with childhood leukemia, HIV, heart disease, cervical cancer, blood clotting, melanoma and colorectal cancer.

The resulting individualized treatment has improved survival rates in many types of cancer.

The report notes that genetic tests are also used for the early diagnosis of certain genetic diseases, including cystic fibrosis, allowing for treatment that can miminize the diseases' impact.

Genetic tests are also being used to improve patient safety by preventing underdosing, overdosing or misdosing medications, whcih cost more than $100 billion annually -- as well as causing undue suffering.

The full report is available at and

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