23andMe Offers Genetic Report on Type 2 Diabetes

23andMe has a new Type 2 Diabetes report that offers customers insight into their likelihood of developing one of the most prevalent, pernicious, and preventable health conditions in the United States.

23andMe hopes that the Type 2 Diabetes report will help raise awareness about diabetes, as well as the potential to make healthy lifestyle changes to lower one’s likelihood and potentially prevent type 2 diabetes from occurring in the first place.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that diabetes is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Diabetes can be present but undiagnosed, meaning that a person can have diabetes but not report having every been told by a doctor or health professional that they have the condition. Type 2 diabetes can progress over an extended time period with gradual, often unnoticed, changes occurring before diagnosis. If left unmanaged, diabetes may contribute to serious health outcomes including neuropathy, nephropathy, retinopathy, coronary artery disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

Some groups have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than others. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population.

The report is built using real-world data from more than 2.5 million 23andMe customers who have opted into research. Some of those customers have the condition and some do not, but together, they have allowed 23andMe’s product scientists to create what’s called a polygenic score.

To create the polygenetic score, 23andMe’s team created a model that takes into account more than a thousand genetic variants to assess an individual’s likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. The report does not account for lifestyle or family history and has not been reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The 23andMe Type 2 Diabetes report is different from other 23andMe reports because it was developed and validated completely on 23andMe research data. The report also underwent scientific review by 23andMe’s scientists, as well as review by 23andMe’s Medical Affairs and Regulatory teams. 23andMe also relied on the expertise and knowledge of external experts, and other scientific and medical professionals who are familiar with polygenetic scores and the condition itself.

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