Insight Into Diversity

May 16, 2019
by Kelsey Landis

Children who inherit cystic fibrosis face a shortened lifespan, lung infections, stunted growth, and respiratory failure. The hereditary disease is not curable, but diagnosis using genetic testing shortly after birth can help prolong and improve patients’ lives.

Despite the overarching benefits, genetic tests for the disease work better for White children than for those of color. Tests are 98 percent accurate in White infants, but the lack of information about Black, Asian, Latinx, or other children of color is so severe that scientists aren’t even sure how accurate the tests are for those groups, according to Eimear Kenny, PhD, associate professor of Medicine and Genetics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) and director of the Center for Genomic Health.

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