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Europeans happy to take genetic tests for disease risk

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Over two-thirds of Europeans would happily take genetic tests to discover their chances of developing illnesses in later life, new research has discovered.

Scientists at the University of Ulster and Portugal's University of Porto questioned 6,000 people across six countries and found that the majority would be conducive to the idea.

Furthermore, over a quarter of respondents said they would also be willing to follow a personalised diet based on the results of genetic testing in order to reduce the risk of developing illnesses such as chronic heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Study authors said they were encouraged that a significant proportion of Europe’s population would agree to genetic profiling and a personalised diet.

Additionally, the research also analysed how personalised nutrition, known as ‘nutri-genomics’, may reduce the risk of disease by preventing metabolic syndrome – a collection of factors including obesity, high blood pressure, blood sugar control and abnormal cholesterol.

Dr Barbara Stewart-Knox, from the University of Ulster, said: ‘Nutri-genomics could be crucial in shaping the future of public health care and health promotion.’

The study was published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

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