The 23andMe results are in. Well, the medical results are in. Seems we have to wait another week for the details on the ancestry side of things. Which was a bummer. But considering all the complicated info that we got with the medical stuff, maybe we need a week just to makes sense of it.
On the Disease Risk list, there wasn’t a lot of shocking information. Leah’s genetics do show an increased risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Atrial fibrillation, but both are based on research done with people of European descent, not South Asian. But still, good to be aware of, especially when she’s older.
She’s also got a higher risk of Lupus (.59 out of 100, vs. .32 out of 100 for Asians) and an itty bitty higher risk for a couple of kinds of cancers.
The good news is, she’s at decreased risk for Type 2 Diabetes (apparently it’s generally lower for Asians overall, her genes show a slightly even lower than that risk). She’s also got a decreased risk of restless leg syndrome (tell that to the rest of her ADHD self! LOL) and a much lower risk of age-related macular degeneration. ( 1% vs. 7% in Europeans) And she’s half as likely to get Celiac disease as the average European. WOOT. (in general that risk for the average person is still very low. Curious, given how many people with Celiac I personally know.)
Along with the basic stats, 23andMe also provides a lot of info about each disease as well as what environmental factors can increase or decrease your risks. It’s very user friendly and helpful, though at the same time there’s a lot to take in a one could spend hours or even days digging through all of it. But the gist is she doesn’t have any really big things to worry about and that’s awesome.
There’s also a tab about Carrier status, but she seems to be “typical” in all of those results.
Under Drug Response, the only thing that stands out is that she has an increased sensitivity to Warfarin. So, should she ever need to take this blood thinning medicine, her doctor will know to start her out on a lower dose. Cool, right? Oh also, she’s a “fast metabolizer” for caffeine, which means according to preliminary research drinking coffee will not increase her risk of heart attack, and she can drink the stuff without getting the shakes. Good thing because let me tell you, that girl is NOT a morning person!
Where it gets fun is under the “Traits” tab. Here we learn that she will not “flush” in reaction to alcohol she can taste bitter flavors, has the muscles of a sprinter, is more likely to sneeze when she looks at a light, and were she European she’d be somewhat shorter than average. (Given that she is Cambodian and overall rather TINY this is something of a DUH.) More interesting is that she carries the gene that shows “slightly increased episodic memory” … hard to believe given her difficulties with working memory (the root of her ADHD issues). Now I’m shuddering to think how’d she do without that gene. Of greatest interest to Leah was that she is very likely to be lactose intolerant as an adult. “But I love milk!” she protested. Good news for her is at least there are other options like soy and almond milk.
So that’s the highlights of her report. In some ways we now know more about Leah than we do about the rest of us!
If you’re curious what the report looks like or want more details about how it works, 23andMe has an example (with graphs) on their blog, The Spittoon.