MyHeritage Introduces Their DNA Test for Health

article by Maria Perinic
May 30, 2019

DNA testing has taken the world by storm, with millions of people curious to know where their ancestors came from. MyHeritage has now taken their DNA test one step further to bring you important insights about your health, in addition to their traditional ancestry report. Using a sample of your DNA, MyHeritage will be able to help you understand your genetic risk for developing certain conditions, including breast cancer and heart disease.

By carefully analyzing your DNA, MyHeritage will be able to determine your risk for developing certain health conditions, as well as whether you are a carrier for hereditary conditions that you could potentially pass on to your children.

The MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test reflects your genetic risk for developing various health conditions, but it doesn’t tell you if you have or will develop any of them. It is important to remember that this test is not diagnostic, and it gives an estimate of your genetic risk alone. In addition to your DNA, there are other factors which can strongly impact your health, such as your environment and lifestyle. All consumers are encouraged to discuss their health reports with their doctor.

*This test is not available in New York, New Jersey, or Rhode Island

What to Expect in the New DNA Test Kit

Take a look at what you can expect when you order the new MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry kit.

Want to know what the new DNA test for health will include? Initially, the reports will indicate genetic risk for 11 monogenic, or single gene conditions, 3 polygenic conditions that are caused by variants on multiple genes, and carrier status for 15 hereditary conditions that can potentially be passed on to your children. The MyHeritage Science team is working hard to add even more reports for new conditions in the future.

The new MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test costs $199 in the U.S. and £179 in the U.K., and standard shipping costs another $12. For a limited time, MyHeritage is offering a free one-year trial period for their Health subscription, which gives you access to all future health reports for new conditions, and all advanced DNA features on MyHeritage. After the first year, the renewal price is just $99. If you have previously taken a MyHeritage DNA test for genealogy, you can upgrade to receive health reports for a reduced price of $120, and your reports will be generated based on your existing DNA sample that you submitted with your previous test.

You can purchase your MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry kit online using a variety of credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, Diners, Discover, or American Express. You will be asked to provide your contact information including your shipping address, and you can also choose to add the Health subscription, which for the time being is free for the first year.

You should know that MyHeritage takes your privacy very seriously, which means that your data will never be shared with any third parties including insurance companies. MyHeritage is the only DNA testing company that has pledged never to share your data with insurance companies. If you don’t want MyHeritage to keep your records, that’s not an issue either. You will always be the owner of your DNA data, meaning that you can elect to delete it whenever you wish.

When you receive your kit, you will have to activate it on the MyHeritage website. After creating a login and password, you will be asked to enter the activation code found on the back of your testing kit box or on the sides of both of the vials found in the kit. When this has been completed, you will be asked a number of questions regarding your personal and family health history so that you can receive reports that are appropriate for you.

Taking the DNA sample should only take a few minutes. It involves collecting a simple cheek swab, so if you’re queasy at the sight of blood, you will be relieved that there is neither blood or spit involved in the process. After that, you mail the sample to the MyHeritage lab in the enclosed return envelope and your results will be ready within 4-6 weeks. It can’t get any simpler than that.

When your reports are ready you will get a notification via email telling you that they are now available for you to view. You will have to log into your MyHeritage account to view them, but before you do there will be a section explaining in detail what you will be able to find out from your reports, including what your DNA can tell you about your health, what genetic risks are, and how they are determined.

Your results will include DNA matches, ethnicity estimates, genetic risk reports, and carrier status reports. DNA matches will allow you to connect with newly found relatives, while the ethnicity estimate will give you a breakdown of your ethnic origins so that you can better understand where your ancestors came from.

MyHeritage genetic risk reports will determine your risk of developing various health conditions based on your DNA and compared to the rest of the population. These conditions include heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, Crohn’s disease, and many more.

Carrier status reports work differently in that they reveal your risk to be a carrier for a genetic condition. If it is likely that you are a carrier of a certain condition, there is the potential for you to pass on that condition to your children. These conditions include Tay-Sachs, cystic fibrosis, fanconi anemia, Gaucher disease, blood disorders, metabolic disorders, and more.

The Bottom Line

Finding out that you have an average or decreased risk of developing a certain condition is reassuring, but these risks are based on genetics alone. It is recommended that you share your results with your doctor and discuss a proactive approach to your health management.

This new addition to DNA testing introduced by MyHeritage will allow you to not only to find out where your family comes from, but also helps you better understand how your genetics can impact your health. From there you can consult your doctor and discuss if lifestyle or health management changes are needed to help prevent or delay these conditions.

You can also order the new MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry kits as a gift for a loved one. All you have to do is provide their shipping address and MyHeritage will send their kit directly to them. From there, they will be asked to create an account online, so you won’t have to do anything further. This kit is a meaningful gift that will help your loved ones discover more about themselves and give them tools that can empower their future.