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Will I receive a diagnosis?

December 2013 – Pending an FDA decision, 23andMe no longer offers new customers access to health reports. Customers who received their health information prior to November 22, 2013 will still be able to see their health reports, but those who purchased after that time will only receive their ancestry information as well as access to their uninterpreted raw data.

23andMe provides you with genetic information, but does not sequence your entire genome or perform predictive or diagnostic tests. Rather, we use currently available technology to examine your DNA sequence at a large number of variable sites called SNPs. Since this SNP information is difficult to interpret on its own, we review the most up-to-date biomedical literature on genetic associations and provide you your genotype information in the context of current scientific knowledge.

While we may be able to tell you that researchers have found your particular genotype to be associated with an increased chance of developing a particular condition, we cannot tell you whether you actually have a specific disease, or whether you will develop a specific disease in the future.

There are several reasons why we cannot provide diagnoses or otherwise assess your health. First, because we don't sequence your entire genome, we may miss variation that has an impact on your health. Genetic testing services, which restrict themselves to a relatively small set of diseases, provide more exhaustive analysis of the relevant genes.

More importantly, in order to make a diagnosis, your doctor considers not only your genetic information, but also your particular personal and family history and your physical condition, as well as any symptoms you are experiencing. Other confirmatory tests are usually required, since your genotype is only part of the equation. If you learn that your personal genetic information suggests that you have a higher than average chance of developing a particular disease, you may wish to discuss  this with your physician or another medical expert.

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