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Navigating and Understanding Genetic Health Risk Reports

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The 23andMe Genetic Health Risk* Reports tell you if you have genetic variants associated with an increased risk of developing certain health conditions but does not report on your entire genetic profile. For information about getting started with these reports, visit our Getting Started with Genetic Health Risk Reports help article.

This article will discuss the following topics:

Key Information About Genetic Health Risk Reports

When viewing your Genetic Health Risks* Reports, please keep the following key information in mind:

  • In order to view the 23andMe Genetic Health Risk Reports, you must choose to include them when making your report selection after your sample has been processed. Select reports, considered sensitive in nature, also require an additional opt-in step before you can view your result.
  • The 23andMe Genetic Health Risk Reports do not cover all possible genetic variants that could influence risk for these conditions. Additionally, the absence of a variant tested does not rule out the presence of other genetic variants that may be related to the disease.
  • While having a particular variant can be linked to a higher risk for a condition, it does not necessarily mean you will develop the condition. Not everyone with a risk variant will develop the health condition.
  • Other non-genetic factors, such as environment and lifestyle, can also impact risk for these conditions. You may be able to manage your risk for some conditions by managing other risk factors.
  • Variants are often more common in certain ethnicities, and the effect a variant has on risk for a health condition is often best studied in those ethnicities. You can find additional information in the Important Ethnicities section of your report.
  • The 23andMe Genetic Health Risk Reports provide information to users about their genetic risk of developing a disease to inform lifestyle choices and/or conversations with their healthcare professional. Consult with a healthcare professional if you are concerned about something you learned from your reports. These reports are not a substitute for visits to a doctor or other healthcare professional.
  • Other companies offering genetic risk tests may detect different variants for the same disease, so you may receive different results using a test from a different company.

View additional information about the 23andMe Genetic Health Risk Reports.

 

Learning Your Genetic Information

Report Overview | FAQs | Scientific Details | After Learning Your Genetic Information

Report Overview

The 23andMe Genetic Health Risk* Reports tell you if you have genetic variants that are associated with an increased risk of developing certain health conditions. The main page of each report will provide a summary of your result for the condition. Additional information about what the result means can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the report.

It is important to note that receiving a “Variant(s) not detected” result means that you do not have the genetic variants we tested. However, you could still have another genetic variant not included in this test. Other risk factors, both genetic and non-genetic, can also affect your risk of developing a condition, even if you do not have any genetic variants.

Frequently Asked Questions

To understand what your genetic results mean or to better understand the limitations of the report, navigate to the Frequently Asked Questions section of the report. This section is located near the top of each report.

Below you can find a list of our Genetic Health Risk* Reports with links to the FAQ section:

 

Scientific Details

Using the Scientific Details tab located near the top of each report, is where you can learn more about:

  • A biological explanation of the variant.
  • The variants analyzed and your genotype at those variants.
  • Risk estimates for developing the condition.
  • Other factors that may influence risk.
  • Additional test details/

Note: Risk estimates are based on clinical studies that identify an association between a genotype and a health condition. For certain genotypes, quantitative risk estimates may not be available. The report overview provides quantitative risk estimates when lifetime, absolute, or relative risks are available.

 

After Learning Your Genetic Information

Learning that you have a genetic risk factor for a disease can be difficult. It can bring on different emotions and questions as you think about what the results mean for you. If you are concerned about something you learned from your reports, we encourage you to contact your physician or other medical professional. Speaking with someone knowledgeable about clinical genetics is the best way to make sure that you have a clear understanding of what your data means for you personally. In some cases, your primary care physician may be the best place to start. In other cases, you might prefer to speak with a genetic counselor or a medical geneticist – health care professionals who specialize in hereditary conditions and who are specifically trained to help people understand their genetics in the context of personal and family history. The National Society of Genetic Counselors or American Board of Genetic Counseling can help you find a provider in your area.

You might also be thinking about your family members and what your results mean for them. Since genetic risk factors can be passed down from generation to generation, you may consider discussing the information you learned with your family. Deciding whether to discuss the genetic information you learn is a very personal decision. There are both potential benefits and harms in discussing your genetic risks with family members. We encourage you to review our help article which includes a few important questions to think about prior to discussing genetic risk information, the potential benefits and harms of communicating genetic information, and some ideas that may help you find the right approach for sharing genetic risk information. Visit article.

 

Ethnicity Considerations

Genetic association studies are generally performed using people of a specific, similar ethnic background. Therefore, the effect of a variant on a person's lifetime risk of developing the condition may be better understood in people of a particular ethnicity. If a person who is not of the studied ethnicity has the variant, he or she is still expected to have a higher risk for disease, but the exact risk may vary depending on his or her ethnicity. Please review the information in the Important Ethnicities section of your report for additional information about the studied ethnicity or see the Scientific Details page of the report for more information about risk.

 

Additional Resources

 

*The 23andMe PGS test uses qualitative genotyping to detect clinically relevant variants in the genomic DNA of adults, from saliva collected using an FDA-cleared collection device (Oragene·DX model OGD-500.001) for the purpose of reporting and interpreting genetic health risks. The relevance of each report varies based on ethnicity. Our genetic health risk reports describe if a person has variants associated with a higher risk of developing a disease, but do not describe a person’s overall risk of developing the disease. The reports are not intended to diagnose any disease, tell you anything about your current state of health, or to be used to make medical decisions, including whether or not you should take a medication or how much of a medication you should take. The Late-onset Alzheimer’s Disease genetic health risk report is indicated for reporting of the ε4 variant in the APOE gene and describes if a person has a variant associated with an increased risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The ε4 variant included in this report is found and has been studied in many ethnicities. Detailed risk estimates have been studied the most in people of European descent. The Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) Deficiency genetic health risk report (i) is indicated for reporting of the PI*Z and PI*S variants in the SERPINA1 gene, (ii) describes if a person has variants associated with AAT deficiency and a higher risk for lung and liver disease, and (iii) is most relevant for people of European descent. The Parkinson’s Disease genetic health risk report (i) is indicated for reporting of the G2019S variant in the LRRK2 gene, and the N370S variant in the GBA gene, (ii) describes if a person has variants associated with an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, and (iii) is most relevant for people of European, Ashkenazi Jewish, and North African Berber descent. The Hereditary Thrombophilia genetic health risk report (i) is indicated for reporting of the Factor V Leiden variant in the F5 gene, and the Prothrombin G20210A variant in the F2 gene, (ii) describes if a person has variants associated with a higher risk of developing harmful blood clots, and (iii) is most relevant for people of European descent. The Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) genetic health risk report (i) is indicated for reporting of the Y402H variant in the CFH gene, and the A69S in the ARMS2 gene, (ii) describes if a person has variants associated with an increased risk of developing AMD, and (iii) is common in many ethnicities, but is best studied in people of European descent. The Hereditary Hemochromatosis (HFE‑Related) genetic health risk report (i) is indicated for reporting of the C282Y and H63D variants in the HFE gene, (ii) describes if a person has variants associated with an increased risk of developing iron overload related to hereditary hemochromatosis, and (iii) is best studied in people of European descent.

 


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