Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home

Genomics and Health Impact Blog

A blog devoted to discussing best practices and questions about the role of genomics in disease prevention, health promotion and healthcare.

Share
Compartir

Feeling the Genomic Pulse of the United States

Categories: genomics

CDC doctor with DNA stethoscope checking the pulse of the US map

A healthcare provider takes a good clinical history, feels the patient’s pulse, performs a good physical examination, and orders laboratory tests to diagnose and manage a health problem. In a similar manner, public health programs feel the pulse of the population by collecting data through population surveys, surveillance systems and health statistics to assess the distribution of health problems, risk factors and interventions in the population. The findings are used to inform and evaluate health policies and programs, like vaccinations or health education campaigns.

As Dr Tom Frieden, CDC Director, said in 2010: “The single most important thing public health can do is to increase the degree to which decisions are made with good data.” Genomics  is no exception. For example, for more than 30 years, CDC has assisted laboratories with quality assurance for newborn screening programs that detect treatable, inherited metabolic diseases. The Newborn Screening Quality Assurance Program currently includes laboratories in all states in the U.S., as well as in 67 foreign countries.  In addition, CDC has a long record in surveillance of birth defects and developmental disorders and selected genetic blood disorders.  In the last decade, as human genome research began to reveal the role of genetics in common chronic diseases, the CDC Office of Public Health Genomics funded model state public health programs to integrate genomics into their policies and programs. Recently, several state genetics programs have shared their population data online.  Examples include public awareness and collection of family history, prevalence of family history for specific chronic conditions, perceptions and use of direct-to-consumer genetic testing, and awareness of genetic testing for hereditary breast and colorectal cancers.

More recently, CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control announced the availability of funding to implement existing recommendations for using breast cancer genomic tests to address the needs of young women at high genetic risk. Public health surveillance will track the impact of these activities at the population level using indicators such as 1) increased insurance coverage of genetic testing and related clinical interventions, and 2) public and provider knowledge about breast cancer family history and risk assessment, including appropriate counseling and testing.

As genomics is a fundamental component of all human diseases, we predict that in the next decade, it will become an important aspect of public health data collection. Feeling the genomic pulse will be crucial in evaluating how this new technology is affecting health in the United States and around the world.

We are interested in hearing your views about genomics and public health surveillance, in general or for specific disease conditions.

Public Comments

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this blog is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

  1. June 28, 2011 at 5:07 am ET  -   Health and safety Toronto

    This is really informative post about Public health. Public health programs feel the pulse of the population by collecting data through population surveys, surveillance systems and health statistics to assess the distribution of health problems, risk factors and interventions in the population. Feeling the genomic pulse will be crucial in evaluating how this new technology is affecting health in the United States and around the world. Thanks for sharing.

    Link to this comment

  2. July 8, 2011 at 9:30 pm ET  -   Sindy Lemp

    Great post, you have pointed out some excellent points , I also conceive this is a very great website.

    Link to this comment

  3. July 29, 2011 at 7:59 am ET  -   Can Pharmacogenomic Tests Help To Improve Public Health? - Better Health

    […] crucial public health function is to continuously collect information, through surveys and surveillance systems on patterns of use of pharmacogenomic tests in practice to evaluate how these tests are affecting […]

    Link to this comment

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

All comments posted become a part of the public domain, and users are responsible for their comments. This is a moderated blog and your comments will be reviewed before they are posted. Read more about our comment policy »

 
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #