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How genome testing can help guide preventative medicine

As previously reported on Scope, Stanford geneticist Michael Snyder, PhD, and colleagues conducted an unprecedented analysis of Snyder’s genome using a newly developed technique known as  Personal “Omics” Profile, or iPOP. Last night, a post on the Health Blog examined how Snyder experienced firsthand that gene sequencing can change a person’s daily life:

He learned he has an elevated risk for heart disease, not unexpected since “everyone on my father’s side died of heart failure,” he says. Surprisingly, he also discovered he is at higher risk for Type 2 diabetes. “For me, that came out of nowhere,” he says.

Snyder is physically active and isn’t overweight. And, at the time of the genome test, his glucose level was normal. But the level began rising gradually over the next few months. Finally, at a physical, the doctor told him the latest tests showed, “You are diabetic.”

Even before the official diagnosis, Dr. Snyder decided to change his lifestyle.

He ramped up his bike riding and added running to his regimen. He cut out most sweets. “It took six months, but my glucose came back to normal,” he says. His doctor now calls him a “managed diabetic,” says Snyder, who has so far avoided needing medication.

Snyder and other participants in the Stanford study will be followed for more than a year to determine how results from genome testing help them manage their health.

Previously: Stanford geneticist to discuss future of personalized medicine in live Science chatWhat personal DNA testing can reveal about your potential health and future well-being and Could patients’ knowledge of their DNA lead to better outcomes?
Photo by Adrian Cousins/Wellcome Images

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