Genetic testing involves having your DNA tested for such things as certain diseases and conditions, paternity testing, prenatal screening, and being a carrier of certain genes. Genetic tests can be ordered by your physician, or you can choose an “at-home” company which will provide you with a DNA test that you mail in for results. If you are interested in having this type of genetic testing done, below are three companies you might want to consider. This article does not constitute or replace medical advice.
23andMe. This genetic testing company offers at-home Ancestry DNA tests ($399), Health DNA tests ($429) or a kit for both ($499). The Ancestry Kit test checks both your maternal and paternal lines, while the Health Kit tests your DNA for carrier status, disease risk, drug responses and other traits. Once you have ordered your kit, you just spit in the tube and mail it back to the company. You should expect to receive your results in six to eight weeks. For more information on this genetic testing company, click here.
Navigenics. Although you do fill out the kit at home, Navigenics’ services must be signed up for through either a physician or a corporate wellness program. Once you have signed up, you will receive a saliva collection kit for you to use and mail back to the company. This genetic testing company offers testing for certain health conditions and medication responses. Once your DNA has been received, the company will analyze it and you will get your results in about two or three weeks. Results are available by logging in to your Navigenics account on-line. This genetic testing company also has genetic counselors available if you need help understanding your report. If you had this testing done for health reasons, a genetic counselor can also help you make decisions about your care. For more information, click here.
Pathway Genomics. This genetic testing company offers screening for both health and ancestry purposes. Instead of charging per “kit”, you purchase your results, with prices starting at $249. You can be tested for drug responses, pre-pregnancy planning purposes (whether or not you carry genes for conditions that can be passed on to your children), and health issues. Pathway offers genetic screening that will tell you your risk for diabetes, asthma, cystic fibrosis and other conditions. Like other home kits, you spit in the tube and return it to the company for testing, with your results being ready in a few weeks. Once completed, you can access your account and download your results from the company. Pathway also has genetic counselors to help you interpret your results and provide advice. For more information on this genetic testing company, click here.
Note. Please note that the FDA is currently looking into whether these “at-home” types of tests will need to apply for FDA approval in the future. Only a handful of these DNA tests are currently approved. This does not imply that at-home DNA tests are unsafe or unreliable, simply that the FDA is taking a closer look at them.