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Wolfson Institute of Population Health

Association of Jewish identity and denomination on population BRCA genetic testing uptake

Colourful DNA against black background

The first published study to evaluate the association and impact of Jewish identity and different Jewish denominational affiliations on uptake of population based BRCA gene testing shows that interest, intention and uptake of BRCA testing was not significantly associated with identity or denominational affiliation. Population-based BRCA gene testing in the Jewish population has been shown to be feasible, acceptable, and safe, and identifies up to 2.5 times the number of BRCA carriers compared with current clinical criteria or family history-based testing, preventing more cancers and saving costs for the NHS. Contrary to some reports that more religious and orthodox sections of the community may be less engaged with health behaviour related to cancer prevention or early diagnosis, this cohort study of 935 Ashkenazi-Jewish participants found equally high uptake rates of BRCA testing across the different Jewish groups. Corresponding author Ranjit Manchanda (Centre for Prevention, Detection and Diagnosis) said: “Our findings are reassuring given the potential implementation of population based BRCA testing in the Jewish population in the UK. It is important that clinicians offer genetic testing regardless of Jewish denomination.”


Dan Reisel, Matthew Burnell, Lucy Side, Kelly Loggenberg, Sue Gessler, Rakshit Desai, Saskia Sanderson, Angela F Brady, Huw Dorkins, Yvonne Wallis, Chris Jacobs, Rosa Legood, Uziel Beller, Ian Tomlinson, Jane Wardle, Usha Menon, Ian Jacobs, Ranjit Manchanda. Jewish Cultural and Religious factors and uptake of Population based BRCA testing across denominations: a cohort study.



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