New $500 Mail-In DNA Test Reveals Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes


By: Linda von Wartburg

The average person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes is aboutseven percent. Now an Icelandic biotech company has developed thedeCODE T2™ test, an assessment that tells you if your risk isdouble that.

The deCODE test detects a version of a single SNP (single nucleotidepolymorphism) – a one-letter variation in the gene sequence. This riskvariation is located on chromosome 10, within the gene calledtranscription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2). We all have two copies ofthat gene, one from our mother and one from our father. When bothcopies of the gene carry the variation, there's a doubled risk oftype 2 diabetes.

To take the test, you swab a sample of DNA from your inner cheek andship it off for testing. About three weeks later, you get theresults in the mail. Ryan Phelan, CEO of DNA Direct, which marketsthe test, says, "The deCODE test can provide new insight for thoseconcerned about the possibility of developing type 2 diabetes. Theresults of this genetic test, along with the support provided by ourteam of genetic counselors, can help people understand their risk ofdeveloping this disease and provide them with valuable informationto help prevent the onset of disease."

For more information about the DeCODE test, go to

Sources: deCODE press release; DNA Direct;



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