Do You Want to Know What You Might Get Sick With?

Most health screening recommendations are based on averages. Researchers at the Boston Clinic have set a more ambitious goal: generating a risk map based on gene testing for each individual.


Medical Columnist, Ornament

Prevent, not cure

The benefits of a preventive approach in medicine have long been appreciated by progressive doctors around the world. Preventing disease rather than curing it is the current trend, and there are many scientific studies aimed at the early detection of health problems. The principles of preventive medicine are the basis on which Ornament is built, so we follow all discoveries in the medical field with interest.

There are universal recommendations for regular health checks depending on the gender and age of the person. However, these recommendations cannot assess the risk factors for each individual and are only a guide. Personal checks, such as those offered to users by Ornament, take into account a greater number of factors: the medical history of the person and his or her relatives, indicators of biomarkers, lifestyle, and data from wearable devices. This allows for a more accurate diagnosis and the detection of weaknesses in a particular person's body. Now imagine how much more accurate the recommendations can be based on genetic analysis — not just one genetic marker, but hundreds or thousands.

Diagnosis by genes

Diagnosing by looking at genes is the challenge Jason Vassi, M.D., set for his team. In a large-scale randomized study, he and his colleagues evaluated and validated the potential for six dangerous diseases using data from more than 36,000 people from the Mass General Brigham Biobank.

The study identified a group of 227 healthy patients with a high chance of developing one of the diseases in the following list. 11 % had a high risk of developing atrial fibrillation, 7 % had coronary heart disease, 8 % had diabetes and 6 % had colorectal cancer. In addition, 15 % of men had a high chance of getting prostate cancer in the future and 13 % of women had a high chance of getting breast cancer.

In all, the scientists plan to enroll more than 1,000 patients in the study and follow them for two years along with their treating physicians. Guidelines have also been developed to help physicians and patients make proper use of the data. The estimated completion date of the study is September 30, 2025.

The data obtained already allows medical professionals to assert that the introduction of preventive medicine systems based on genetic analysis will help to avoid many health problems and reduce mortality from incurable diseases. This is especially true if it becomes possible to conduct such studies on a mass scale in children.

Source: https://www.genomes2people.org/research/genomes2veterans/

23 August 2022

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