Ancestry adds genetic health tests to consumer DNA services

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Ancestry is expanding its DNA test offerings beyond genealogy to provide health screening, STAT reports, further fueling the Lehi, Utah-based company's rivalry with 23andMe.

AncestryHealth tests will require an order from a physician; other consumer DNA test companies, including 23andMe, are instead regulated by the FDA in order to allow consumers to order tests themselves. Two tests will be available: the $49 AncestryHealth Core, which will return one set of results, and the $199 AncestryHealth Plus, which will deliver more detailed results and will offer quarterly updates on consumers' genetic information for a $49 twice-yearly subscription fee.

Both tests will screen for 17 disease-associated genes, including the breast and ovarian cancer risk indicators BRCA1 and BRCA2, as well as genes associated with colon cancer, cardiomyopathy, sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis and other hereditary illnesses. The test results will also reportedly offer insights on other health traits such as lactose intolerance and caffeine metabolism.

AncestryHealth consumers will view online videos about DNA testing before they receive their results, Ancestry CEO Margo Georgiadis told STAT. Upon receipt, they will be offered online resources and access to genetic counselors to better understand the results.

"Our goal is to help you and your family understand your risks so that you are empowered with the information and connections you need to make better, more informed decisions about your health," Ms. Georgiadis wrote in an email sent to Ancestry's 15 million customers beginning last week, Bloomberg reports.

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