The December issue of O Magazine (Oprah Magazine) highlights familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) and genetic testing! However, not all genetic testing is the same.
The feature 10 Factors You Should Consider Before Taking an at-Home DNA Test includes two quotes from Dr. Dan Rader, the Family Heart Foundation’s Chief Scientific Advisor and Seymour Gray Professor of Molecular Medicine at University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Rader highlights how 90% of individuals with FH are unaware of the condition.
the Family Heart Foundation worked with the O reporter to provide key information on why FH is a condition that leaves individuals and families at tremendous risk for early heart disease if undiagnosed and untreated. It’s part of our ongoing outreach to media to ensure that more people are aware of how common FH is and what they need to do to understand their risk.
It’s also important to note that magazine articles are brief and cannot contain all the facts. During the holiday season when advertising for ancestry tests are at their height, we know many in the FH Community may have questions about these tests. Not all genetic testing is the same. Direct-to-consumer ancestry tests may provide information on ancestry, traits and wellness, but do not provide the specific information needed to diagnose FH.
If you are considering genetic testing, the Family Heart Foundation recommends having a genetic test done by a clinical-grade lab that is certified (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) and offers an FH Panel (LDLR, APOB, PSCK9). We also recommend that all individuals receive genetic counseling and weigh the pros and cons of genetic testing prior to taking any test.