The Morning Blend


Your Genetics Predisposes You to Diabetes

Posted: 11:10 AM, Mar 22, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-22 15:10:32Z

What if you knew your genetics gave you an increased likelihood of developing a significant health condition? Would you be motivated to take action now to try and delay or even prevent it from occurring?

Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) is one of today’s most pressing public health challenges, yet, it can be prevented with early detection. [ 1] That’s a big deal, because one in three Americans – that’s 84 million -- has pre-diabetes. [2] And, nine in ten of those individuals are undiagnosed.

The number of those affected is increasing as well. CDC estimates that nearly 40% of Americans will develop the condition at some point in their lives. What many people don’t know is that genetics play a role in T2D. At the same time, lifestyle changes can often help reduce the chances of developing the condition in the first place.

A new health predisposition report, powered by data from more than 2.5 million 23andMe customers who have consented to participate in research, will be available directly to the public, and can provide an estimate of whether or not your genetics place you at an average or increased likelihood of developing the condition. With this knowledge, people can get more proactive about their long-term health.

Creating models of this size, scale and accuracy requires massive datasets. Thanks to the sheer number of research participants, researchers were able to develop a model scientifically known as a polygenic risk score. In this case, the model takes into account more than 1,000 genetic markers to determine if an individual has a typical or increased likelihood of developing T2D. The report is further customized to the individual's age and ethnicity.

On Monday, March 11, join Shirley Wu, Director, Health Product, 23andMe and TBD Advocacy Group representative or HCP, to learn more about this new report and the potential impact it will have on the lives and health of millions of Americans.