MyHeritage, a well-known Israeli DNA testing provider, just announced the addition of 9 new reports to its at-home Health + Ancestry test. This includes 3 new genetic risk reports, a comprehensive polygenic risk estimate for high blood pressure, and 5 carrier status reports.
Polygenic Risk Score For High Blood Pressure
MyHeritage acknowledges high blood pressure as the modern “silent killer” and provides users with a comprehensive genetic risk report that covers thousands of variants across one’s genome. This estimate can predict blood pressure problems before they actually present themselves, allowing users to prevent any potential health issues with frequent checkups and early intervention measures.
Polygenic risk scores are much harder to calculate since, unlike monogenic conditions, the susceptibility to certain polygenic illnesses can cover hundreds or even thousands of genetic variants. MyHeritage currently offers 4 polygenic risk scores (female breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure). These reports, however, are entirely based on European population studies, which means they are currently only available to individuals with predominantly European ancestry.
Among other genetic variants, new reports also explore irregularities on the PALB2 gene, commonly associated with breast, pancreatic, and ovarian cancers.
The newly-added CCR5 report determines the absence or presence of any CCR5 variants, most commonly found in people of Northern European descent. Our susceptibility to the HIV-1 infection is directly influenced by the presence (or absence) of these protective variants – individuals with one protective copy of the CCR5 variant show some resistance while people with two copies have high resilience to the HIV-1 infection.
The last monogenic report introduced in this update determines one’s genetic predisposition for malignant hyperthermia, a dangerous condition that can cause severe muscle contractions and a rapid rise in body temperature while under general anesthesia. Undergoing surgery without any information about this genetic predisposition can cause severe and potentially life-threatening complications. With this report, however, your medical team will be able to take the necessary precautions and avoid any unfavorable reactions during surgery.
Carrier Status Reports
The latest update introduced 5 new carrier status reports, including:
- Glycogen storage disease, type 1A – Excess glycogen buildup in the liver, small intestines, and kidneys impairs the regular functions of those organs and causes a variety of dangerous symptoms.
- Canavan disease – A neurological disorder associated with progressive nerve cell damage, most prevalent among individuals of Ashkenazy Jewish descent.
- Usher syndrome, type 3 – A condition characterized by vision loss and partial or total hearing loss.
- Familial Mediterranean fever – FMF is a well-known disorder causing painful inflammatory episodes in the chest, abdomen or joints.
- Ataxia-telangiectasia – A rare hereditary disorder that affects the immune system, nervous system, and other body systems. This condition leads to impaired balance and walking, as well as an increased risk of cancers and infections.
From this point on, users who purchase the MyHeritage Health test or upgrade their DNA kit to include health results will receive the 9 new health reports, together with the 27 original ones. If you already have your MyHeritage Health subscription, you will receive an email inviting you to view your new reports at no additional cost. However, if you have previously performed the Health test or upgraded to receive health updates, you will have to purchase a Health subscription (99$) to access the new reports.