Monday, June 20, 2011

Understanding Relative Disease Risk Using 23andme

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There is a difference between "absolute disease risk" and "relative disease risk."  If you notice in the table above, my results showed that my risk of developing coronary heart disease is 39.6% vs an average risk of 24.4%. This puts my risk at 1.43x the average member of the population.  What's of interest to me, however, is my risk of developing a venous thromboembolism.  Despite my overall risk of 33.5% (lower than the risk of heart disease) I am 3.44x more likely to develop a venous thrombolism than the 10% risk for the overall population.  Thus, in comparison to the average, my relative risk is higher.

In an earlier post, I explained that I have the Factor V Leiden mutation, so this was not a surprise to me.  What I loved about my results is that their testing protocol picked it up!  I could not have been tested for this mutation for $99 alone much less received all of the additional information supplied to me.

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I love the simplicity of the graphics.  The Odds Calculator clearly shows what 33.5 members of a population of 100 would look like compared to an average of 9.7.  YOU CAN CLEARLY VISUALIZE YOUR RISK!  If  I didn't already understand what Factor V is, they provide me with a clear explanation.  In addition, they cite the articles that back up their conclusions.  You can see what years the research was published and determine for yourself how current it is.

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They provide a nice color graphic that shows the role that scientists believe is attributable to genetics vs. environmental and other factors.

You can see, that in this case, genetics plays a significant role.  As if all of this isn't enough information, you can click on tabs at the top of the page for even more information.

Imagine that all of this is provided on each of the diseases tested by 23andme.  I'm impressed.

Note:  All charts are part of my individual report from 23andme.

1 comment:

  1. You're doing such a good job reviewing the data presented by 23andme! And you could not be more correct about the cost of testing. We've had the opportunity to compare 23andme results with test results from a medical lab and been amazed. Convincing the medical care providers that the data is accurate has been slightly more challenging!


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