Clinical Cancer and Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Test Result-Sharing Behavior: Findings from HINTS 2020

Sukh Makhnoon, Robert Yu, Susan K. Peterson, Sanjay Shete

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Sharing genetic test results with different stakeholders such as family members, healthcare providers and genetic counselors (HCP/GCs), spouses/partners, and friends is a health behavior of clinical importance in genomic medicine. Methods: Using nationally representative population-based data collected from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS 5, cycle 4), we identified the prevalence and factors associated with genetic test result-sharing behavior for high-risk cancer tests, genetic health risk tests, and ancestry tests within four groups: HCP/GCs, first-degree relatives (FDRs), spouse/partner, and friend/other. Results: Overall, 68.4% of those who underwent high-risk cancer genetic testing shared their results with FDRs, whereas 89.9% shared with HCP/GCs. In adjusted multivariable analyses, women were nine times more likely than men to share (p = 0.006), and those with a personal history of cancer were less likely to share with HCP/GCs (OR = 0.025, p ≤ 0.001). Of those tested for genetic health risk, 66.5% shared with HCP/GCs, 38.7% with FDRs, 66.6% with a spouse/partner, 12.8% with a friend, and 14.1% did not share results with anyone. Of those who underwent ancestry testing, very few shared results with HCP/GCs (2.6%), whereas modest sharing was reported with FDRs, spouses/partners, and friends. Discussion: These data add empirical evidence about the population prevalence of genetic information sharing and serve as a metric for public engagement with genetic testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number18
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer
  • communication
  • direct-to-consumer
  • genetic testing
  • result sharing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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