Consumer genetics company 23andMe on Sunday launched a Type 2 Diabetes Report that tells customers if they are at risk of developing the disease and the lifestyle changes that could make a positive difference. "The report can help customers learn how their genetics, along with other factors such as their weight, age and lifestyle, may influence the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, as well as actions they can take to lower that likelihood," 23andMe said in a blog post.
Unlike the company's other genetic health risk tests, which tell customers if they have specific disease-linked SNPs, the type 2 diabetes test employs a polygenic risk score (PRS) that combines more than 1,000 SNPs in an algorithm. This latest test has not been approved or cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration in contrast to the firm's earlier genetic health risk tests.
23andMe said it developed and validated the PRS using the real-world data of 2.5 million customers who have opted to donate their genetic and phenotypic information to research. In a white paper, the company notes that the type 2 diabetes PRS was developed on variants from genome-wide association studies involving people of European ancestry, and that it trained the score on Europeans and recalibrated for other populations. The data show that the score works best in those of European ancestry and doesn't work as well in African American populations.