Genome-based health literacy: a new challenge for public health genomics.

Research paper by E V EV Syurina, I I Brankovic, N N Probst-Hensch, A A Brand

Indexed on: 08 Jul '11Published on: 08 Jul '11Published in: Public health genomics


So far health literacy has not been sufficiently discussed in the context of public health genomics. Primarily, not genomic but rather genome-based health information needs to be addressed taking into account genome-environment interactions and integrating all health determinants including genomics into a systemic and holistic approach. Translating findings from epigenomics and systems biomedicine will help to understand that individual biological pathways or networks are permanently interacting with environmental networks such as social networks. Thus, in the end also health literacy will become personalized. Genome-based health literacy is challenged by the question of which information is relevant for the individual, for what purpose, and at what time during the lifespan. Public health tools and expertise already in place can and should be used to tackle these huge challenges.