Getting to Know Your Genome

Editor’s note: Pending an FDA decision, 23andMe no longer offers new customers access to health reports referred to in this post. Customers who received their health information prior to November 22, 2013 will still be able to see their health reports, but those who purchased after that time will only have access to ancestry information as well as access to their uninterpreted raw data. These new customers may receive health reports in the future dependent on FDA marketing authorization.

You may not have thought about your genome lately, but one day you will and so will your doctor.

In an opinion piece published in the Guardian, Anne Wojcicki, our CEO and co-founder, offered some thoughts about why knowing your own genetic information will become increasingly important for your health.

We’ve already seen how the technology has rapidly advanced offering consumers affordable access to actionable information about their genetics.

Just as with other kinds of health information — your blood pressure, your family medical history and the details of your diet — the information from your genetics can help you and your doctor make the right decisions for your health. As Anne says in her Guardian piece, 23andMe was started in part to empower people and involve them in their own health care. Access to genetic information also helps open the way for more personalized treatments. By aggregating that information and involving people in research, scientists can more quickly gain understanding of the genetic components of disease and speed develop treatments, new drugs and diagnostics.

  • Loren Williams

    During my annual checkup last week, I told my doctor about two things in my 23andme assay – my increased susceptibility to coumarin, and my increased danger of exfoliative glaucoma – and he took the info very seriously; he put in in my file, and told me that “the world is changing. We’re getting information from the genome that’s very revealing.” I was afraid he’d tell me that this was silly / irrelevant info, and I was impressed to see how seriously he took it.

  • Jillian Dacyk

    I have the same exact issues as Loren, plus one more, and am thinking of giving my doctor printouts of these for my file. However, she has never been terribly receptive to the idea of patients doing their own research, so I’m not anticipating the same reaction that Loren had.

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