In the digital age, personal health management has reached new heights with the development of at-home DNA tests. These tests, like those offered by Macromo, give users a deep-dive into their genetic makeup, all from the comfort of their homes. Once your saliva sample is sent off, tested and analyzed, you can then access the results via the Macromo mobile app. It’s a simple, convenient, and enlightening process, but understanding your genetic results can be a bit complex. So, let's break it down!
Different Types of Genetic Risks
When it comes to assessing genetic risks, two key methods come into play - Polygenic Risk Scoring and looking for, mostly monogenic, High-Risk Variants.
Think of your genes like a team working on a project. In a monogenic approach, a single gene takes the lead and heavily influences the outcome. For example, lactose intolerance is largely dictated by a single gene. If that particular gene has a mutation, it's like having a project leader who doesn't understand lactose, leading to an intolerance when your body tries to digest it.
On the other hand, polygenic risk scoring is like having several team members each contributing a little to the final outcome. It's a statistical approach where the tiny influences of many different genes are added together to predict the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes. It's a bit like baking a cake; each ingredient (gene) may not have much effect on its own, but together they create something significant.
Most genetic risk scores in Macromo are of the polygenic type. You can read more about the variants from the genes that are counted in the risk scoring on the Macromo Insider.
Disease Risk Scores Explained
The Macromo mobile app presents these genetic risk scores in an easy-to-understand graphical format. All genetic risks are divided into three color-coded categories - Average Risk (green), Elevated Risk (orange), and Higher Risk (red). These scores represent your relative risk in comparison to the population group you belong to, let's say Europeans, as an example.
An "Average Risk" status indicates that your polygenic risk score is less than the 80th percentile in the population. Therefore, the genetic part of the risk that contributes to whether a disease develops in you is not significantly higher. You fall in the same group of average risk as 8 out of 10 people.
If you fall into the "Elevated Risk" category, your risk score lies between the 80th and 99th percentile. This means that your genetic risk score is higher, compared to 8 out of 10 people. In other words, only every fifth person shares the same level of genetic risk as you do. Nevertheless, the genetic risk is only one part of the whole problem, especially in polygenic risks which are highly influenced by external factors such as dieting, exercising, and good sleep.
The "Higher Risk" category is the most significant, indicating that your polygenic risk score is above the 99th percentile or a known high-risk variant is present. This means that you have a higher genetic part of the disease risk than 99 out of 100 people in the general public. This isn't an immediate cause for panic; rather, it's like having a weather warning - something to be aware of and to discuss with a health professional. It is also very likely that the disease might be in your family history.
Remember, these percentiles, represented as the bars in the Macromo app, are not direct indications of absolute risk but are comparative tools used to help you understand where your risk levels fall relative to others so that you can take early action to prevent the disease that they represent.
Empowering Your Health Journey with Macromo
Understanding your genetic results is a crucial part of disease prevention and living a full, healthy life. It's not about predicting the future, but rather arming yourself with information to mitigate potential risks. Macromo's mobile app makes this information accessible, user-friendly, and beneficial for those keen on understanding their health better.
Armed with insights from Macromo's genetic tests and the vast suite of digital features, users can create personalized lifestyle changes, build healthier habits, and potentially prevent the onset of chronic ailments. Macromo simplifies the experience of tracking and acting on health.
In the realm of preventive healthcare, knowledge is indeed power.
The information provided by Macromo does not diagnose any disease or condition. It is intended for informational purposes and should be used in consultation with healthcare professionals.