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5 fascinating things you can learn about yourself with Mayo Clinic GeneGuide™

Mayo Clinic GeneGuide™ is a personal DNA testing product unlike any other, combining state-of-the-art DNA sequencing technology from Helix with expertise and health education from Mayo Clinic. It’s a great way to dive into health-related DNA insights that can help you plan for your future and have more informed conversations with your doctor about certain traits and disease risks.
Many people are familiar with the value that our DNA has in telling us more about our ancestry and our basic physical traits like hair and eye color, but with Mayo Clinic GeneGuide, you’ll discover some of the ways in which your genetics can influence your health. And because Mayo Clinic GeneGuide was built from the ground up with education in mind, you’ll have the resources you need to learn more about what your results may mean for you, and what steps you can take next.

Here are just a few of the health insights you’ll unlock with Mayo Clinic GeneGuide.

1. Learn more about your body’s response to ibuprofen

Ibuprofen, one of the world’s most common medications, is used for the management of pain and fever and is available over-the-counter. Although it is broadly considered safe and effective, the way your body processes ibuprofen can be affected by your DNA. Variants in a gene called CYP2C9 can affect how quickly your body metabolizes ibuprofen, which can impact your risk for developing stomach ulcers and other conditions from ibuprofen use. Understanding your DNA can help you talk with your health care provider to reduce risks about how to manage your use of ibuprofen and other medications that are affected by CYP2C9.

2. Learn your risk for age-related macular degeneration

Macular degeneration is a condition in which the center of the vision is lost in one or both eyes, which can make it difficult or impossible to accomplish tasks that require clear eyesight like reading and driving. Although environment and lifestyle are believed to contribute to the development of age-related macular degeneration, there are genetic factors as well. Mayo Clinic GeneGuide looks at two genes—ARMD and CFH—to assess whether you may be at increased genetic risk for this condition.

3. Learn about the relationship between red, itchy skin and your DNA

Atopic dermatitis—also known as eczema—is characterized by rashes and red, itchy areas on the skin. It’s caused by changes in the outermost layer of the skin, which leads to a reduced ability to keep bacteria and allergens out and retain moisture. Atopic dermatitis is associated with a variant in a gene called FLG, which controls the production of filaggrin, a vital protein for the durability of the skin’s outer layer. With Mayo Clinic GeneGuide, you’ll learn more about atopic dermatitis, how FLG is involved, and what other non-genetic factors may also contribute to it.

4. Learn how DNA can contribute to cystic fibrosis

Some health conditions are only likely to occur when you inherit disease-causing gene variants from both parents. Mayo Clinic GeneGuide offers several carrier screening results, which tell you whether you carry zero, one, or two disease-causing variants for certain conditions; if you carry either one or two, you are more likely to have children that are affected by these conditions.
One of these conditions that you’ll learn more about with this DNA test is known as cystic fibrosis (CF), which is characterized by the buildup of mucus in the lungs and an increased occurrence of lung infections. Mayo Clinic GeneGuide tests for variants in the CFTR gene, which reflect the most common cause of CF in individuals. If both you and your partner are carriers of an associated variant in this gene, there is a 25 percent chance that each of your biological children may be affected by this condition.

5. Lifestyle plays a big role in coronary artery disease—but your DNA plays a role, too

Coronary artery disease (CAD) can lead to heart attacks and heart failure and is the leading cause of death among Americans, regardless of gender. The development of CAD is strongly associated with environmental factors and lifestyle decisions—but there are genetic links as well. Mayo Clinic GeneGuide looks at three variants in the DNA that are associated with slightly elevated risk of coronary artery disease, which may help you and your health care provider make more informed decisions in managing your cardiovascular health.

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