Rich people at higher genetic risk for cancer than poor: study

Rich people are genetically at greater risk of cancer than poor people, new research reveals.

The new study, conducted at the University of Helsinki in Finland, examined the relationship between socioeconomic status, or SES, and a range of diseases.

The findings suggest that privileged people with higher SES also have an increased genetic risk of breast, prostate and other types of cancer.

People with higher socioeconomic status are at greater risk of developing breast, prostate and other types of cancer, experts say. FatCamera

Conversely, less wealthy people are genetically more susceptible to diabetes and arthritis, as well as depression, alcoholism and lung cancer, experts said.

Study leader Dr Fiona Hagenbeek, from the university’s Finnish Institute of Molecular Medicine (FIMM), said the initial results could lead to the addition of polygenic risk scores – used to measure disease risk based on genetics – to screening protocols for certain diseases.

“Understanding that the impact of polygenic scores on disease risk is context dependent may lead to more stratified screening protocols,” Dr Hagenbeek told the South West News Service.

“For example, in the future, breast cancer screening protocols could be adapted so that women at high genetic risk who are highly educated receive earlier or more frequent screening than women at higher genetic risk. weak or less educated,” she said.

To conduct the study, Dr Hagenbeek’s team extracted genomic, SES and health data on around 280,000 Finns, aged 35 to 80.

Previous studies would have shown the presence of some differences in risk, similar to what the researchers found this time.

This study, however, was touted as the first to investigate the link between 19 diseases common in high-income countries.

“Most clinical risk prediction models include basic demographic information such as biological sex and age, recognizing that disease incidence differs between men and women and depends on age,” a said Dr. Hagenbeek.

“Recognizing that such context is also important when integrating genetic information into health care is an important first step.

“But we can now show that the genetic prediction of disease risk also depends on the socio-economic background of the individual.

A person lying on a medical table, representing the concept that wealthy people are at greater risk of cancer than less affluent people
Breast cancer screening protocols could be adapted so that women with high genetic risk are flagged earlier, the study authors said. laflor

“So even though our genetic information doesn’t change throughout our lives, the impact of genetics on disease risk changes as we age or our circumstances change,” the doctor said.

The researchers stressed that further work can be done to fully understand the links between specific occupations and disease risk. Studies should also be carried out in low-income countries, they said.

“Our study focused only on individuals of European ancestry, and it will also be important in the future to see whether our observations regarding the interaction of socioeconomic status and genetics for disease risk are replicated in people of multiple ancestry in both upper and lower settings. high-income countries,” insisted Dr Hagenbeek.

“Given that the overall goal of integrating genetic information into health care is to facilitate personalized medicine, we should not treat genetic information as a one-size-fits-all solution.

“We should instead investigate and then include the circumstances that modify genetic risk when predicting diseases,” she said.

The study results will be presented on Sunday at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics in Berlin, Germany.

Conference chair Professor Alexandre Reymond of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, welcomed the results.

“To truly move toward personalized health, it will be essential to assess both genetic and environmental risks,” he said.

“We must congratulate our Finnish colleagues for the role they have played in leading this effort. »

News Source :
Gn Health

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