MyHeritage, the leading global service for discovering your past and empowering your future, announced today the addition of 7 new reports to its genetic health product, the MyHeritage DNA Health test. The new reports include a polygenic risk score for obesity and high BMI that is based on thousands of genetic variants, a significantly enhanced hereditary BRCA cancers report, and 5 carrier status reports that indicate if an individual is a carrier of a disease that may be passed down to their children.
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MyHeritage Adds 7 New Reports to Its At-Home Genetic Health Test (Graphic: Business Wire)
The MyHeritage hereditary BRCA cancers report now examines 103 variants, making it the most comprehensive report for pathogenic BRCA variants among the leading consumer brands. Previously, MyHeritage’s hereditary BRCA cancers report covered 15 variants in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, and the current update expands the coverage to 103 of the most prevalent BRCA variants. Having a pathogenic BRCA1 or BRCA2 variant significantly increases a woman’s lifetime risk of having breast or ovarian cancer. These variants have also been associated with other cancers including peritoneal cancer in women, prostate and breast cancer in men, as well as pancreatic cancer in both women and men. Reporting this information to customers can empower them to make important decisions that can reduce their risk and prevent these devastating diseases.
While there are over 4,000 pathogenic variants in the BRCA genes, the majority are exceedingly rare. The 103 variants covered by the MyHeritage test are the highest-frequency variants for BRCA-related cancers. The 88 new variants covered by the test are particularly relevant to individuals of Asian, African, and Ashkenazi Jewish descent, as well as among specific European populations. The addition of these variants has increased MyHeritage’s coverage of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes from 41% to 55% for BRCA1, and from 22% to 45% for BRCA2.
Obesity affects more than 650 million people worldwide, and is associated with a range of diseases and early mortality. It is estimated that nearly 40% of adults in the United States are obese. Most of the time, obesity is preventable, with lifestyle playing a key role. The new report for obesity and high BMI offers a comprehensive assessment that adds up the impact of tiny genetic variations across the genome to predict an individual’s genetic risk for obesity and provides a genetic BMI estimate that is based on genetics, age, and country of residence. Individuals who are obese are at significantly greater risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers, which are all leading causes of premature death.
The new reports also include carrier status reports for 5 genetic diseases: Joubert syndrome 2, congenital amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia, Bardet-Biedl syndrome 2, hereditary fructose intolerance, and tyrosinemia type I. These conditions can cause significant and potentially life-threatening complications, and can be passed down from parents who are carriers to their children. MyHeritage has a 92% detection rate for Joubert syndrome among Ashkenazi Jews.
“As the MyHeritage Health test continues to evolve, we’ve received testimonials from customers all over the world whose lives have changed for the better as a result of taking this test,” said Prof. Yaniv Erlich, Chief Science Officer of MyHeritage. “One customer shared that doctors had been struggling to find a diagnosis for his symptoms, and his MyHeritage Health reports gave the doctor new clues that helped confirm the diagnosis. Many have shared that they feel empowered by the findings, and have started to take a proactive approach to their health. Every testimonial we receive deepens our resolve to enhance our offering and provide additional, powerful, and relevant genetic health insights to the public.”
Launched one year ago, the MyHeritage Health test now provides 42 detailed reports on a wide range of health conditions. In addition to the newly released obesity and high BMI report, MyHeritage Health also includes polygenic risk scores for heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and female breast cancer. The product offering includes 14 additional reports on personal genetic risk for developing health conditions, and 23 reports for genetic diseases that may be passed from a couple to their child if both partners are carriers for the same condition. Each report delivers valuable personalized insights that may inform proactive health, reproductive, and lifestyle choices, and customers are encouraged to share their results with their doctor.
The 7 new reports are available free of charge to existing MyHeritage Health customers who have added the Health subscription, which grants access to new reports as they are released. Customers who purchase the MyHeritage DNA Health kit or who upgrade to receive health reports following this latest release will enjoy full access to all 42 health reports; access to new reports slated for future release requires a Health subscription, which is available for free for the first year, and thereafter costs $99 per year.
MyHeritage DNA Health is a Laboratory Developed Test, processed in a CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited DNA lab in Texas. MyHeritage works with PWNHealth, an independent clinician network and genetic counseling service, to provide end-to-end physician oversight of the MyHeritage Health test for all U.S. customers, which includes genetic counseling, if appropriate. PWNHealth’s physician oversight and genetic counseling fee is included in the total price.
MyHeritage is the leading global discovery platform for exploring family history and gaining valuable health insights. With billions of historical records and family tree profiles, and with sophisticated matching technologies that work across all its assets, MyHeritage allows users to discover their past and empower their future. Launched in 2016, MyHeritage DNA has become one of the world’s largest consumer DNA databases, with more than 4 million customers. The MyHeritage DNA Health test launched in May 2019 adds comprehensive health reports, some unique to MyHeritage, to help people understand how their genetics may affect their health and make informed choices to improve their future. As the world’s leading global service that combines family history and DNA testing for genealogy and health, MyHeritage is uniquely positioned to offer users a meaningful discovery experience that unites their past, present, and future. Available in 42 languages, MyHeritage is the most popular DNA test and family history service in Europe. www.myheritage.com