7 New Reports Added to MyHeritage Health

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The MyHeritage Health test offers genetic insights to enrich your life, enlighten you about your health, and help you make informed lifestyle choices. 

This week we added 7 new reports to MyHeritage Health, and it now provides 42 risk reports on a wide range of health conditions. 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.

Many people have already benefited from the MyHeritage Health test, either by purchasing the kit, or by upgrading their genealogy-based MyHeritage DNA test to receive health reports without having to take a new DNA sample. We’ve received testimonials from customers whose lives have changed for the better as a result of taking this test. See what our users are saying

About the new reports

New Polygenic Risk Score: Obesity and High BMI

While monogenic conditions are typically caused by a change in a single gene, polygenic conditions are influenced by several hundred or even thousands of genetic variants. Analyzing genetic risk for polygenic conditions is complex, yet valuable because these diseases are so widespread. MyHeritage also offers polygenic risk scores (PRS) for 4 common conditions: heart disease, type 2 diabetes, female breast cancer, and high blood pressure.

Obesity occurs when a person has an excessive amount of body fat. Most individuals who are obese also have a high body mass index (BMI): the ratio of weight to height. Individuals with a BMI of 30 or greater are considered obese. Recent estimates suggest that 650 million adults worldwide are obese, and that nearly 40% of adults in the United States are obese. 

Obesity is caused by a number of factors including a person’s diet, exercise level, family history, environment, and genetics. Obesity is generally caused by poor nutrition and lifestyle choices, and develops gradually over time. Most of the time, obesity is preventable, with lifestyle playing a key role. Individuals who are obese are at significantly higher risk for other chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.

The new report for obesity and high BMI offers an 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. This report may inform individuals who have increased genetic risk for obesity, which will enable them to take early intervention measures, such as lifestyle changes and frequent checkups with healthcare providers. 

New: Obesity and High BMI report (click to zoom)

Under the Body Mass Index section, we display your estimated genetic BMI. If you manually enter your height and weight on this page, we will calculate and display your actual BMI for a comparison.

New: Body Mass Index section (click to zoom)

Click on “Show advanced graph” to show a new component that plots both your genetic BMI estimate and your actual BMI on a graph. This lets you compare your current BMI with your genetic disposition.

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New: Body Mass Index advanced graph showing your genetic BMI estimate with your actual BMI

Enhanced BRCA report: 103 variants covered!

Monogenic conditions are caused by a change in a single gene. Among the monogenic conditions that we test for are hereditary BRCA cancers.  Women with a pathogenic BRCA1 or 2 variant have a 50-80% chance of developing breast cancer by the time they are 80. Pathogenic variants in the BRCA genes also increase a woman’s lifetime risk for developing ovarian cancer, and may be as high as 60% for those with a BRCA1 mutation. People with pathogenic BRCA1 or BRCA2 variants tend to develop cancer at younger ages. They are also more likely to experience cancer a second time, called a recurrence. 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. 

We have now added 88 more variants for hereditary BRCA cancers, bringing the total number of variants tested by MyHeritage to 103. Our coverage for the BRCA1 gene has increased from 41% to 55%, and for BRCA2 from 22% to 45%. This increases the likelihood of detecting the disease for more populations who have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. With this expansion in coverage, MyHeritage now has the most comprehensive report for hereditary BRCA cancers among the leading consumer brands. 

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.

5 New Carrier Status Reports

When two individuals who are carriers for the same genetic disease have a child, that child is at risk for inheriting the disease or being a carrier themselves. People who are carriers of a genetic disease may not even know it. Most carriers never develop any symptoms, but they can still pass on the variant — or the disease itself — to their children. We added the following 5 new carrier status reports:

  • Bardet-Biedl syndrome 2: Bardet-Biedl syndrome is a disorder that affects the cilia of the cell, which is involved in chemical pathways and movement. Symptoms vary, but most commonly include vision loss, obesity, intellectual disability, and extra fingers or toes.
  • Congenital amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia (CAMT): Congenital amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia is an extremely rare genetic form of thrombocytopenia that causes a life-threatening reduction in the cells that make platelets, ultimately leading to bone marrow failure.
  • Hereditary fructose intolerance: Hereditary fructose intolerance is a metabolic condition that affects a person’s ability to digest the sugar called fructose. Individuals with this condition may experience bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain after eating fruit, drinking juice, or consuming other foods that contain fructose. 
  • Joubert syndrome 2: Joubert syndrome is a disorder of brain development that can affect many areas of the body. Symptoms include developmental delay, the inability to coordinate muscle movement, involuntary eye movements, and difficulty moving the eyes from side to side. Individuals may also exhibit intellectual disability. MyHeritage has a 92% detection rate for Joubert syndrome among Ashkenazi Jews. 
  • Tyrosinemia type I: Tyrosinemia is a metabolic disorder that results from the body’s inability to break down the amino acid tyrosine. Symptoms can include failure to thrive due to vomiting and diarrhea, jaundice, a cabbage-like odor, and a higher frequency of nosebleeds. Left untreated, the condition can lead to kidney and liver failure, liver cancer, and a softening of the bones.
New Carrier Status Reports (click to zoom)
New: Carrier status report for Joubert syndrome 2 (click to zoom)
New: Carrier status report for Bardet-Biedl syndrome 2 (click to zoom)

To view all of the Carrier Status Reports currently supported by our test, please see the full list of conditions.

Accessing your reports

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. 

Users who have a Health subscription will receive an email inviting them to view their new reports at no additional cost. They can also access the reports by clicking on the Health tab on the navigation bar. An intro wizard on the main health page describes the newly added reports to users who have previously received their health reports.

Users who have previously taken a MyHeritage Health test or upgraded to receive health reports in the past, but do not currently have a Health subscription, can purchase it and gain access to the new reports. The Health subscription grants access to new health reports as they are released, for as long as you keep the subscription. 

The new reports are available to MyHeritage Health customers worldwide. Remember, MyHeritage health reports do not tell you whether you have or will develop a condition. They only reflect your genetic risk for developing a condition. If a specific report is excluded from your results, you’ll find an explanation why at the bottom of the genetic risk overview page.

Physician Oversight 

Customers in the United States will be required to update their health information before accessing their new reports. A physician from the independent clinician network PWNHealth will review the questionnaire and evaluate all health reports before they are released. When a report indicates an increased risk for a specific condition, the physician will further determine whether genetic counseling is advised.

If genetic counseling is recommended, a phone or video consultation with a genetic counselor from PWNHealth is included at no additional cost.

Conclusion

The MyHeritage Science team is working hard to bring you even more health insights to keep you informed and help you improve your future health and quality of life. This makes the MyHeritage Health test one of the most rapidly evolving genetic health tests available today.

The MyHeritage Health test consists of a simple cheek swab — no blood or saliva required. It’s easy to use and takes just 2 minutes. We use Sanger sequencing to validate positive results, which substantially reduces the risk of false positives. MyHeritage Health makes a thoughtful gift for your loved ones or for yourself. It also includes all the genealogical features of the MyHeritage DNA test: Ethnicity Estimates and matching to relatives through shared DNA. Order the MyHeritage Health test, or if you have tested with MyHeritage DNA before and wish to add health reports without sending in a new DNA sample, upgrade your kit to Health.

Enjoy,
The MyHeritage team

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  • Pauline Easter


    June 21, 2020

    I should like a study of the genetic condition of aspergers as it has run through the family tree for decades.