Key features of the Hygea Platform
What is genetic testing?
Genetic testing involves examining an individual’s DNA or genes for genetic changes (variants) that may be associated with a disease. Over 99% of our DNA is the same among all people; however, there are also variations or differences in our genes.
Most of these differences are considered benign or harmless and do not increase an individual’s risk for disease. However, some variants are associated with a disease, these are called pathogenic variants. Most genetic testing involves taking a blood or saliva sample that is sent to a specialized laboratory for testing to identify variants that are pathogenic.Read more Read less
Benefits & risks of genetic testing
The benefits of genetic testing may include:
- to help make a diagnosis
- to provide an explanation of your symptoms, condition, or family history
- to determine if your symptoms may be related to a condition that impacts more than one part of your body
- to determine the best course of management of the condition
- to provide information that might determine if other family relatives are at risk for the same condition
Genetic tests typically have little physical risk.
Blood, cheek swab, or saliva tests have almost no risk. However, genetic testing can have emotional, social, and/or financial risks. Any questions regarding the emotional, social, and/or financial/insurance concerns can be addressed by your doctor or a genetic counselor before you have a genetic test.
GINA (Genetic Information
Nondiscrimination Act of 2008)
In 2008, the federal government passed a law called GINA (the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act) that protects Americans from discrimination by health insurance companies and employers based on genetic information.
This law protects against discrimination for individuals who have a positive genetic test but are not yet affected by the condition (known as pre-symptomatic testing).
However, it is important to note that GINA does NOT protect against discrimination by:
- long-term care insurance, life insurance, or disability insurance. Although some states have laws that offer additional protections against genetic discrimination in these lines of insurance.
- health insurance companies and employers for individuals who are affected by the condition
- small businesses that employ fewer than 15 employees
- and the US military
For more information about GINA, you can visit this page