MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 10, 2019 — 23andMe, Inc., the leading personal genetics company, will begin offering a new genetic Health Predisposition report on type 2 diabetes.
The report offers customers insight into their likelihood of developing one of the most common, yet largely preventable, health conditions in the United States.
“Diabetes is a significant health issue in the United States that is expected to impact nearly half of the population. When customers learn about their genetic likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, we believe there is an opportunity to motivate them to change their lifestyle and ultimately to help them prevent the disease,” said Anne Wojcicki, CEO and Co-Founder of 23andMe.
In the United States alone a staggering one in three American adults have prediabetes, and more than 90 percent don’t even know it, according to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Worldwide, as lifestyle and diets are changing, the prevalence is also increasing. And beyond the very real human costs are the healthcare costs for treating the condition — in the United States, estimates for the costs of treating diabetes are more than $327 billion per year, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Despite those alarming statistics, there’s a reason to be optimistic. Diet and lifestyle changes can prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes. While genetics, family history, ethnicity, and age all contribute to the likelihood for developing type 2 diabetes, adopting a healthier diet and making lifestyle changes can reduce the possibility of developing the disease.
That’s where this report could help, by identifying people who may not know they have a genetic predisposition for diabetes and empowering them with information and tools to make lifestyle choices that can help prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes. The results can also aid in facilitating a conversation with your healthcare provider about appropriate screening and how to prevent the condition from occurring in the first place. Learning one’s predisposition for challenging health conditions, such as heart disease, has inspired lifestyle changes that can have positive impacts on long-term health.
23andMe’s new Type 2 Diabetes report is different from other 23andMe health reports because it was developed and entirely validated using 23andMe research data from more than 2.5 million 23andMe customers who have opted into research. Using this data, 23andMe scientists developed a polygenic score that drew on more than 1,000 genetic variants to calculate a customer’s likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. Along with looking at those genetic factors, the report also informs customers how other factors such as their weight, age, and lifestyle may influence the likelihood of developing the condition and what actions might make a difference. It also provides educational resources on type 2 diabetes.
23andMe also knows that change isn’t always easy. That’s why 23andMe has recently collaborated with Lark Health, a consumer platform using A.I. coaching to manage and prevent chronic disease, to give 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service customers the opportunity to access applications that incorporate their genetic results for diabetes prevention and weight loss counseling.
The hope is that the report will help raise awareness about diabetes, as well as the potential to make healthy lifestyle changes to lower one’s likelihood of developing the condition. We’re excited by the possibility that this report has for making a difference in people’s lives.
To learn more about the science behind 23andMe’s Type 2 Diabetes report see our white paper.
23andMe, Inc. is the leading consumer genetics and research company. Founded in 2006, 23andMe’s the mission of the company is to help people access, understand and benefit from the human genome. The company was named by TIME as a “Genius Company” in 2018 and featured as Fast Company’s #2 Most Innovative Health Company in 2018. 23andMe has millions of customers worldwide, with more than 80 percent of customers consented to participate in research. 23andMe, Inc. located in Mountain View, CA. More information is available at www.23andMe.com.
SOURCE 23andMe, Inc.