The impact of genetics and genomics on public health

German Center for Public Health Genomics, University of Applied Sciences, Bielefeld, Germany.
European Journal of HumanGenetics (Impact Factor: 4.23). 10/2007; 16(1):5-13. DOI: 10.1038/sj.ejhg.5201942

ABSTRACT Public health practice has to date concerned itself with environmental or social determinants of health and disease and has paid scant attention to genomic variations within the population. The advances brought about by genomics are changing these perceptions. In the long run, this knowledge will enable health promotion messages and disease prevention programmes to be specifically directed at susceptible individuals and families, or at subgroups of the population, based on their genomic risk profile. As the controversial discourse in science and health politics shows, the integration of genomics into public health research, policy and practice is one of the major challenges that our health-care system is currently facing.Keywords: public health genomics, genetics, genomics and population health, prevention, health policy, inequalities in health and social exclusion, public health ethics

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