PGxCheck...What is our DNA saying?




We need to consider how genetic information

can help us with respect to healthcare. We are able to perform genetic testing more readily,

but how are we using the results? Join in the discussion!


Personalized medicine and pharmacogenomics (the influence of genetics on drugs) is here. It is in its infancy and we all will watch it grow. From healthcare professionals to the general public, pharmacogenomics and the broader area of personalized medicine will present a learning curve.

This blog is made possible through an individual making their genetic information available. 

As we learn what this individual's genetics are telling us...and what it is not telling us, we will discuss it. I am sure there will be many questions. We will have individuals from pharmacy, genetics, ethics, law, and other disciplines adding their expertise and thoughts to the discussion. I sincerely hope you will contemplate the information, formulate your thoughts, and participate in the discussion!

Disease Risk - Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

Based on the information from 23andMe, I am in a group of individuals (those with similar genetics relative to markers for CHD) in which 32.8 out of 100 would develop coronary heart disease, where as an overall group of similar age and ethnicity would have 46.8 out of 100 develop CHD. So in this case, my odds of developing CHD are lower. Here the odds ratio relative to CHD is 0.7 (<1 is better than >1 and a value of ~1 would mean average risk). Check out the image below, taken from my results provided by 23andMe.


If this were YOUR results, what would be your thoughts? Think broadly here. We will look at your comments and I will add some thoughts.

16 comments | Add a New Comment
1. Jasmine Hossler | September 13, 2013 at 01:27 PM EDT

If these were my results I would be very pleased. I can be less concerned about this disease but still be conscious of it because even though I would be at a lower risk, I know I wouldn't be able to stop maintaining my heart health.

2. Kendra | September 13, 2013 at 04:30 PM EDT

If these were my results, I would be less worried, but still conscious, of my heart health. Since I would have a lower risk of coronary heart disease, it wouldn't weigh so heavily on my mind. However, just because I would have a lower risk for contracting that disease doesn't mean that I won't ever have heart problems. So, I would still have to be conscious of my heart health in order to minimize my risk of coronary heart disease even further.

3. Hayley Sayre | September 13, 2013 at 04:42 PM EDT

With the results I would be pleased. I know that this disease wouldn't be one of my biggest concerns since my results show a lower risk. I would still have to be aware of my health because I do not want to increase my risk!

4. Celine Raible | September 14, 2013 at 09:08 AM EDT

If these were my results, I would be a little relieved. Knowing where I stand on the averages would lower my stress about developing CHD. I could now work and focus towards keeping up with exercising and trying to eat healthy to keep my risk of developing CHD low.

5. Kim Trask | September 14, 2013 at 11:33 AM EDT

I would say that if these were my results I would be pretty pleased. I think that a major reason that I would get my specific genome sequenced would be prevention of diseases for not only myself, but for my future family. If I am able to pinpoint certain markers in my own DNA that would help my children understand what they need to be on the look out for, I can help to keep them healthier using preventative medicine. Using these results, I would not be absolutely know that I would not develop CHD, but I could do my best to keep my heart healthy, as well as pass this information down my family tree.

6. DFK | September 14, 2013 at 11:46 AM EDT

I see that everyone seems to be 'getting it'. Just because my relative risk is lower, doesn't mean I will not get heart disease. If I smoke four packs of cigarettes daily, that relative decreased risk my mean absolutely nothing! What other things should I pay attention to?

7. Sam Blake | September 14, 2013 at 03:35 PM EDT

With these results, my overall emotion would likely be relief. With this lower risk, you have some wiggle room to make some mistakes in your lifestyle choices in a way. To me, it feels like i would be aware of my risk and how my choices would impact it, but my risk isn't so high that i would have to shape my entire life around the risk, and that's a good feeling.

8. Kara Horvath | September 15, 2013 at 08:48 PM EDT

Like everyone else, I would be satisfied with these results. However, as age increases, the body tends become gradually weaker and less functional. This means that it is important to remain active and to continue to make sound choices, so risk does not increase at an older age. Statistically and without any lurking variables in the picture, I am guessing that relative risk would increase with age. Even though relative risk may be low now, the little things you do matter, making it important to think about the future and center current lifestyle choices around that.

9. Joshua Macks | September 15, 2013 at 10:25 PM EDT

I would be very pleased, yet remain wary. Just because I have reduced risk for something does not mean that I will not get it; those results would not be a free pass to let my health and wellness slide.

10. Allie Harrison | September 16, 2013 at 09:24 AM EDT

I would agree with everyone else. These results would be very satisfying to me. I would still need to conscious of my lifestyle choices to remain at this low risk. Things change with age. Good habits need to maintained at a younger age so they are more easily applied when one ages.

11. Olivia | September 16, 2013 at 03:30 PM EDT

Agreeing with everyone else, I would be pleased that these results show a low chance of risk. When it comes to other things to look for, even though the risk is low I would still try to live the healthier and more cautious lifestyle that someone with higher risk might have to live. This would keep you healthy and not increase risks.

12. Anna McCloud | September 16, 2013 at 08:19 PM EDT

I agree with everyone else that I would be relieved by these results, but it does not mean that I do not have a risk of developing CHD. Seeing my actual risk factor would make me more inclined to live a healthy life in order to avoid developing CHD. Since I do not know my risk of developing it, I never think about what I can do to reduce my risk factor. In my opinion, receiving these results could only be beneficial to my health.

13. DFK | September 17, 2013 at 06:56 AM EDT

So far the increased risk or decreased risk is being discussed in the broad picture of other risk factors. i.e., Even though my risk of coronary heart disease is lower than average, it is relative risk. I should not take it too lightly. I learned that I have a family history of heart disease, but this was in the context of heavy smoking, which was common for that time period. So, even with a lower risk, the smoking was a risk factor that was very important. I do not smoke and never have, so I have removed at least that risk!

14. Kassie G | September 17, 2013 at 10:44 AM EDT

Just because you do not smoke and never have does not necessarily remove that risk. Second hand smoke can have the same affects and it's usually out of your control.

15. Katlyn Brown | September 17, 2013 at 01:46 PM EDT

Knowing that you have a lower risk of coronary heart disease would be a relief because instead of worrying about having a higher risk you would be able to focus on how to live a healthier life in general. While you're not guarneteed to never get CHD at least you are able to know that it is not something you need to worry about at the time.

16. Paige | September 25, 2013 at 06:14 PM EDT

With these results, I would be less worried about my heart health. However, this could be a bad thing because if you don't do anything to better heart health then you would still be at a higher risk. So even with these diseases I would still need to do exercises to increase heart health.

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