23andMe Has Report on APOL1- Related Kidney Disease

23andMe added a new Genetic Health Risk report on APOL1-related chronic kidney disease. This disease has a particular relevance for 23andMe customers with African ancestry.

The Chronic Kidney Disease (APOL1-Related) Genetic Health report includes two variants in the APOL1 gene that can increase the risk of developing chronic kidney disease. These two variants, called G1 and G2 – are most common in people of African descent: about 13 percent of African Americans have two APOL1 risk variants, which puts them at an increased risk for chronic kidney disease and several types of end-stage kidney disease (also called kidney failure). In addition, kidneys from donors with two APOL1 risk variants tend to survive for a shorter time after transplantation.

In the US., African Americans are about three times as likely to develop end-stage kidney disease as Americans of European descent, and it’s thought that the APOL1 G1 and G2 variants account for a large proportion of this excess risk.

Although there is currently no evidence that particular interventions are more or less effective at reducing chronic kidney disease risk in people with two APOL1 risk variants, studies have reported support in the African American community for offering APOL1 testing. In these studies, participants have highlighted that such testing could increase awareness and knowledge about kidney disease, motivate a healthier lifestyle, provide insight into potential risks for family members, and provide opportunities for future research that could help eliminate racial disparities in end-stage kidney disease.

The Chronic Kidney Disease (APOL1-Related) Genetic Health Risk report is available to 23andMe Health + Ancestry customers who are genotyped on the V5 version of 23andMe’s chip.

23andMe wants you to know that each genetic health risk report describes if a person has variants associated with a higher risk of developing a disease, but does not describe a person’s overall risk of developing a disease. The test is not intended to tell you about your current state of health or to be used to make medical decisions.

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23andMe Improved Its G6PD Deficiency Report

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