Can 23andMe’s consumer genetics test predict diabetes risk?

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Adding to its roster of healthcare offerings, the direct-to-consumer genetic testing company 23andMe announced [March 11] that it can provide customers with a score that predicts their risk of type 2 diabetes. …

People develop type 2 diabetes when their bodies stop producing and using insulin, the hormone that helps control blood sugar levels, properly. Things like poor diet, lack of physical activity, and obesity can put people at risk of getting this condition—but genetics play a role, as well.

There aren’t individual genes that, on their own, significantly raise someone’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. But there are dozens of genes that seem to be involved in the process. 23andMe says that their evaluation uses over 1,000 genes to calculate a person’s genetic risk for type 2 diabetes.

Related article:  Did you get a DNA ancestry kit for Father’s Day? Here are some things to consider before spitting in that vial

Normally, type 2 diabetes risk is identified by physicians, who use screening tests that ask about risk factors, like high blood pressure, physical activity, and family history. Right now, it’s not clear if a genetic test can do a better—or even an equivalent—job identifying at-risk patients, because they’ve never been compared.

Read full, original post: 23andMe now claims its DNA tests can predict your risk of diabetes

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