23andMe Relaunches Health-Related DNA Testing

By Diane Haddad

Genetic testing company 23andMe is again offering health-related DNA testing in addition to its ancestry services.

In 2013, the FDA ordered 23andMe to stop offering the health analysis, which informed test-takers about their risks for getting 254 diseases and conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes and breast cancer. The company hadn’t proven its tests were ” analytically or clinically validated,” the FDA said.

The new service, launched after negotiations with the FDA, reports on “carrier status” (whether a person carries genes and could pass them on to children) for 36 diseases such as sickle cell anemia and hearing loss. It also includes wellness reports on whether a test-taker could develop traits such as lactose intolerance.

Test-takers also can opt to have their DNA anonymously be part of medical research studies. Ancestry DNA has followed suit with its “Ancestry Human Diversity Project” (which test-takers can