MyHeritage announced the addition of 9 new health reports to its at-home genetic health test, the MyHeritage DNA Health+Ancestry test. The new reports include a comprehensive polygenic risk score for high blood pressure based on thousands of genetic variants, 3 genetic risk reports that estimate personal risk for developing a disease, and 5 carrier status reports that indicate if an individual is a carrier of a disease that may be passed from parent to child.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a sustained elevation in blood pressure that can significantly increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Widely known as “the silent killer,” high blood pressure often has no obvious signs or symptoms. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 1.13 billion people worldwide have high blood pressure, and fewer than 1 in 5 have the condition under control. Consequently, high blood pressure is a major cause of premature death and disability. The new report for high blood pressure offers a comprehensive genetic risk estimate by examining thousands of variants across the genome, and is exclusive to MyHeritage. This report may inform individuals who have increased genetic risk years before the onset of high blood pressure, enabling early intervention measures and frequent checkups with their healthcare provider.
The new reports examine genetic variants for PALB2-associated breast cancer, susceptibility to HIV-1 infection, and susceptibility to malignant hyperthermia. The presence of a PALB2 variant notably increases an individual’s risk for developing breast cancer and has also been associated with increased risk for ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer. The report for PALB2-associated breast cancer joins the hereditary BRCA cancers report and the polygenic risk score for female breast cancer, positioning MyHeritage as a market leader in at-home testing for breast cancer risk. The susceptibility to HIV-1 infection report is also unique to MyHeritage and indicates the presence or absence of the CCR5 variant. CCR5 can reduce an individual’s susceptibility to becoming infected with HIV-1, or even render them highly resistant to HIV-1 infection. This variant is most common in people of Northern European descent.
Also included are carrier status reports for 5 hereditary disorders including glycogen storage disease type 1A (G6PC), Usher syndrome type 3, familial Mediterranean fever, ataxia-telangiectasia, and Canavan disease. Canavan disease is a neurological disorder that causes progressive damage to nerve cells in the brain and is most prevalent among individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish descent.
“When we launched the MyHeritage Health test earlier this year, we pledged to be at the forefront of scientific innovation and to continuously enhance the product for the benefit of our users,” said Dr. Yaniv Erlich, Chief Science Officer of MyHeritage. "The addition of these 9 new reports delivers on our promise, and we plan to add many more health reports in the coming months. We recently received a moving testimonial from one of our customers, who thanked us because, as he put it, MyHeritage saved his daughter’s life. This was achieved by detecting a rare BRCA variant that only MyHeritage tests for among the major at-home consumer DNA health tests. It is successes like these that make us even more determined to continue our mission to raise awareness of genetic health risks and provide insights on significant medical conditions to the public.”
Launched in May 2019, the MyHeritage Health test now provides 36 comprehensive reports that may empower future health and lifestyle choices. The current product offering consists of 4 advanced polygenic risk scores (including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and female breast cancer), 14 reports on personal genetic risk for developing health conditions, and 18 reports regarding genetic diseases that may be passed from a couple to their children if both partners are carriers for the same condition. MyHeritage users receive personalized reports for each condition and are encouraged to share and discuss their results with their healthcare provider. MyHeritage Health also includes the pillar features of the MyHeritage DNA product line: ethnicity estimates and matching to relatives through shared DNA.
The 9 new reports are available free of charge to existing MyHeritage Health customers who have purchased the Health subscription, which grants access to new reports as they are released. Customers who purchase the MyHeritage DNA Health+Ancestry kit or who upgrade to receive health reports following this latest release will enjoy full access to all 36 health reports; access to new reports slated for future release requires a Health subscription. Existing MyHeritage Health customers who currently do not have a Health subscription will soon be able to purchase it on the MyHeritage website for $99 per year.
The new reports are now available to MyHeritage Health customers worldwide. Customers who reside in the United States and previously purchased the MyHeritage Health subscription will receive these new reports in the near future.
MyHeritage DNA Health+Ancestry is a Laboratory Developed Test, processed in a CLIA certified and CAP accredited DNA lab in Texas. MyHeritage works with PWNHealth, an independent physician network and genetic counseling service, to provide end-to-end physician oversight of the MyHeritage DNA Health+Ancestry test for all U.S. customers, which includes genetic counseling, if appropriate. PWNHealth’s physician oversight and genetic counseling fee is included in the total price.