Using the latest in genetics to improve your health
Along with factors like your age, environment, family history and lifestyle habits, your genetic makeup can help your clinician assess your personal risk for disease. Now there’s a revolutionary new tool that takes genetic testing one step further. Endeavor Health, in collaboration with GenomicMD, is among the first in the nation to offer polygenic risk score (PRS) tests.
What is a PRS test?
A PRS test predicts how likely you are to get a specific disease by analyzing genomic variations. Doctors can use this information to help prevent disease or detect it at its earliest, most treatable stage. Endeavor Health offers PRS tests to help determine your genetic risk for these conditions:
- Heart conditions (CAD, AFib, AAA)
- Diabetes (types 1 and 2)
- Prostate cancer
- Chronic kidney disease
- Enlarged prostate (BPH—benign prostatic hyperplasia)
What is involved?
The PRS test is either a saliva or blood sample. The sample can be collected in your provider’s office or with a saliva collection kit conveniently shipped to your home. The DNA sample is analyzed in a lab, and you receive a test result that informs if you are at increased or average risk for each disease. Your care team will follow up about how this information can be used to tailor your care plan.
What are the benefits?
A PRS test is just one part of a complete evaluation by your doctor and can give you a comprehensive, quantitative assessment of your inherited health risks. For many conditions, research indicates that PRS can identify many more at-risk patients than self-reported family history of disease alone. The test can help predict how a disease will progress and how well you would respond to treatment to guide healthcare decisions and help your doctor:
- Recommend lifestyle changes to prevent disease
- Recommend more frequent screenings to detect disease early
- Establish treatment plans to help slow disease progression
- Find novel therapeutic interventions to treat a disease
- Tailor medical interventions, including drug therapies, to your needs
What else should you know?
A PRS can only explain your relative risk for a disease as a probability, not as a certainty. People with the same score can have different lifetime risks of the disease, so a higher score doesn’t guarantee a health issue will develop and a lower score doesn’t mean it won’t develop either. Research is ongoing to better understand the uses and limitations of PRS tests. Your genetic information is protected under HIPAA and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA).
Interested in a PRS test?
Talk to your doctor if you are interested in the PRS test. You may want to get tested if you have a family history or other risk factors. Endeavor Health will initially make testing available at select Medical Group Specialty offices, with plans to expand across the system. If you are interested in testing, please contact 847-570-GENE. The test is not covered by insurance. The cost is $250 out-of-pocket.