23andMe: Knowledge is Power

In 2008, Time magazine called 23andme the invention of the year!

imagesCall me a skeptic. I would have been that prior to the results I received in the mail from 23andme. You see several weeks prior to my results, I received this ambiguous kit in the mail where I had to submit a copious amount of saliva in a cup provided and return back to 23andme. Needless to say, I was ready for my results.

Not only do you obtain insight into your own ancestral history but also medical history. Given the recent decision by many women to have a mastectomy after finding out they are testing positive for one of the breast cancer genes, I wanted to see if I had any increased risks compared to others.

The information received was and is (still combing through all the material) overwhelming. I found out there is a particular enzyme I am deficient in that could pose a problem with a certain class of medications. I am a fast metabolizer of caffeine!

An example of some of the medical conditions seen (compared risk to average):

Name Confidence Your Risk Avg. Risk Compared to Average
Coronary Heart Disease
Established Research: Multiple studies with 750+ participants
29.3% 24.4% 1.20x
Age-related Macular Degeneration
Established Research: Multiple studies with 750+ participants
22.2% 7.0% 3.16x
Atrial Fibrillation
Established Research: Multiple studies with 750+ participants
20.5% 15.9% 1.29x
Venous Thromboembolism
Established Research: Multiple studies with 750+ participants
14.3% 9.7% 1.47x
Restless Legs Syndrome
Established Research: Multiple studies with 750+ participants
5.2% 4.2% 1.24x
Ulcerative Colitis
Established Research: Multiple studies with 750+ participants
0.66% 0.51% 1.30x
Celiac Disease
Established Research: Multiple studies with 750+ participants
0.42% 0.24% 1.77x
Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)
Established Research: Multiple studies with 750+ participants
0.31% 0.25% 1.26x
Bipolar Disorder
Established Research: Multiple studies with 750+ participants
0.20% 0.14% 1.44x
Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (ESCC)
Established Research: Multiple studies with 750+ participants
0.09% 0.07% 1.21x
Stomach Cancer (Gastric Cardia Adenocarcinoma)
Established Research: Multiple studies with 750+ participants
0.08% 0.07% 1.22x
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Preliminary Research: A single study with 750+ participants
Elevated risk
Alcohol Dependence
Preliminary Research: A single study with 750+ participants
Elevated risk
Alopecia Areata
Preliminary Research: A single study with 750+ participants
Elevated risk
Dupuytren's Disease
Preliminary Research: A single study with 750+ participants
Elevated risk
Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)
Preliminary Research: A single study with 750+ participants
Elevated risk
Hodgkin Lymphoma
Preliminary Research: A single study with 750+ participants
Elevated risk
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
Preliminary Research: A single study with 750+ participants
Elevated risk
Hypothyroidism
Preliminary Research: A single study with 750+ participants
Elevated risk
Keloid
Preliminary Research: A single study with 750+ participants
Elevated risk
Narcolepsy
Preliminary Research: A single study with 750+ participants
Elevated risk
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis: Preliminary Research
Preliminary Research: A single study with 750+ participants
Elevated risk
Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
Preliminary Research: A single study with 750+ participants
Elevated risk
Restless Legs Syndrome: Preliminary Research
Preliminary Research: A single study with 750+ participants
Elevated risk
Sarcoidosis
Preliminary Research: A single study with 750+ participants
Elevated risk
Sarcoma
Preliminary Research: A single study with 750+ participants
Elevated risk
Stomach Cancer: Preliminary Research
Preliminary Research: A single study with 750+ participants
Elevated risk
Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
Preliminary Research: Fewer than 750 people studied
Elevated risk
Hypertriglyceridemia
Preliminary Research: Fewer than 750 people studied
Elevated risk
Tourette's Syndrome

Very insightful! And there are many more diseases covered.

You can also connect with others who share DNA and are possible relatives. So far I see that I am matched with several 3rd-5th cousins.

There are a few videos you can investigate to obtain more information about this valuable service:

23andMe provides over 240 health reports

With over a quarter million members, 23andMe is the largest DNA-based ancestry service worldwide.

When 23andMe was founded, the price of the personal genetic service was $1,000 and over time they have been able to reduce it to $99, making it a widely available information tool

I cannot wait to see where these results take me. I have already been in touch with some potential relatives. I will update as to what knowledge is gained.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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