Gene test reveals your likelihood of getting 10 common illnesses

Health Day reports on a new DNA scan that reveals to you (and doctors, and who knows who else) just how likely you are to come down with 10 common ailments, including atrial fibrillation, obesity, type-1 and type-2 diabetes, breast cancer, prostate cancer, kidney disease, heart disease, high cholesterol, and asthma:

“With this work, we’ve taken the first steps toward showing the potential strength and power of these scores across a diverse population,” said researcher Niall Lennon, chief scientific officer of Broad Clinical Labs.

The tests now are being used to evaluate the risk of 25,000 participants at 10 academic medical centers across the United States, researchers said. The centers are all part of the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics network, a federally funded effort to study how genetic data can improve health care.

For each of the 10 diseases, researchers identified and verified exact spots in the genome to be analyzed for the risk score.

To make the risk scores more accurate, researchers also widened their evidence review to include people of different genetic ancestries. Up to now, most such tests have been based largely on genetic data from people of European ancestry.

This team used data from the federally funded All of Us Research Program, which is collecting health information from 1 million people from diverse backgrounds in the United States.

The All of Us dataset includes three times more people of non-European ancestry than other major genetic collections of data used to develop genetic risk scores, researchers said.

You can read more about their findings here, in Nature Medicine.