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Taking care of family health with new consumer genetics technology

Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 4:43 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Being equipped with knowledge of genetic health and family health history can help increase a family’s confidence in important decision making. A recent survey from Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, found that nearly 60 percent of parents say that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased their interest in understanding their genetic health. With back-to-school season underway, their own and their children’s health is top of mind for Moms, particularly this year, as the world navigates the fight against COVID-19.

Ancestry introduced AncestryHealth powered by NGS (Next Generation Sequencing), its most advanced genetic testing technology, in August. Designed to help people understand their risk for developing certain inheritable health conditions, the advanced testing technology behind AncestryHealth provides more comprehensive genetic screening of an expanded set of health conditions -- such as heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer and blood disorders. AncestryHealth powered by NGS looks at more places in a person’s DNA than microarray-based testing technology. In fact, the technology achieves about 80-90 percent detection of inherited risk for specific health conditions.

A recent study conducted by Ancestry found that 86 percent of Americans agree that the more they know about their family, the more reassured they are in their ability to give health providers information to keep themselves and their family well. 82 percent of Americans also believe the more they know about their family health history, the greater control they can take in shaping a plan for their family’s long-term wellness.

Dr. Sarah South joined NewsChannel 7 at 4 to explain how the new technology provides an opportunity to empower parents, especially moms, by understanding their underlying genetic health risks so that they can better manage their family’s health.

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