What is in a cause? Exploring the relationship between genetic cause and felt stigma.
ABSTRACT Concern over stigma as a consequence of genetic testing has grown in response to the recent increase in genetic research and testing resulting from the Human Genome Project. However, whether a genetic or hereditary basis necessarily confers a stigma to a condition remains unexamined.
We performed a qualitative interview study with 86 individuals with one of four conditions: deafness or hearing loss, breast cancer, sickle cell disease, and cystic fibrosis. The first two groups were divided approximately between people who ascribed their conditions to a genetic or hereditary cause and those who did not.
Respondents interpreted genetic or hereditary causes and nongenetic causes in a variety of ways. Subjects with breast cancer reported the most consistently negative interpretation of genetic cause. This response concerned future ill health, not an enduring sense of stigma. Deaf and hard of hearing subjects provided the most consistently positive comments about a genetic or hereditary basis to their condition, casting familial hearing loss as a vital component of group and individual identity. Respondents with sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis offered similar and positive interpretations of the genetic cause of their condition insofar as it meant their conditions were not contagious.
Although some subjects report feeling stigmatized as a result of their condition, this stigmatization is not uniformly associated with the condition's cause, genetic or otherwise. Instead, stigma emerges from a variety of sources in the context of the lived experience of a particular condition.
Article: Anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae and antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies as predictors of inflammatory bowel disease.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Several antibodies have been reported in the sera of patients with Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). The most commonly described are anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae mannan antibodies (ASCA) in CD and perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasm antibodies (pANCA) in UC. Familial clustering of these antibodies has been described, suggesting they might be genetic markers. Our aim was to investigate the presence of these antibodies before the emergence of overt clinical manifestations. Since 1980, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Medical Corps Serum Repository has stored serum samples obtained systematically from 5% of all recruits on enlistment, and from the same population on discharge from compulsory military service. We evaluated serum samples obtained from 32 subjects with CD and eight with UC before they were clinically diagnosed, along with samples from matched controls. ASCA were present in 10/32 (31.3%) CD patients before clinical diagnosis compared with 0/95 (0%) controls (p<0.001). None of the eight patients with serum samples available before diagnosis of UC were ASCA positive. ASCA was positive in 54.5% of patients after diagnosis of CD. The mean interval between ASCA detection and diagnosis was 38 months. In 90% of patients, antibodies were detected in the first available serum sample; therefore, measurements of the average time from the presence of ASCA to diagnosis may be even longer. pANCA were present in 2/8 (25%) patients with available sera before the diagnosis of UC. None of their 24 matched controls were positive (p = 0.014). ASCA and pANCA may predict development of inflammatory bowel disease years before the disease is clinically diagnosed.Gut 09/2005; 54(9):1232-6. · 10.11 Impact Factor