Updated: May 21, 2019 – changed Regular DNA Test Sale end date to June 2, 2019, per MyHeritageDNA website.
I was too busy yesterday dealing with other stuff to look at the major genealogy / DNA blogs I normally visit. When I checked earlier today, I noticed that MyHeritageDNA – https://blog.myheritage.com/2019/05/introducing-the-myheritage-dna-health-ancestry-test/ has now added Health+Ancestry kit for $199.00* – https://www.myheritage.com/health#. That is in addition to their regular Ancestry/Ethnicity only DNA kit for $79.00, temporarily on sale for $59.00; appears to end June 2, 2019 – https://www.myheritage.com/DNA. Upgrade from basic MyHeritageDNA test to Health+Ancestry: $120.00.
*For updates, there is a $99/year subscription fee, but for those who buy the kit now or update from the basic kit, the first year’s subscription is included for free.
Couple of other key points: unlike the basic kit who can be managed by somebody else, only the person whose DNA is tested for the Health+Ancestry kit can manage the kit. Next, not currently available in New York, but they are in the process of getting it approved in New York. Children under 18 are not allowed to order the test even if the parents approve. The FAQs below include the differences between 23andMe and MyHeritageDNA’s Health+Ancestry results.
MyHeritageDNA’s Health+Ancestry test is one of the most comprehensive tests available, especially given the price – $199 for the full kit or $120 upgrade from the basic test. It includes https://www.myheritage.com/health/disease-list
For the Health+Ancestry test,
We’re excited to announce the launch of the MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test, which offers new dimensions of genetic insight to enrich your life, enlighten you about your health, and help you make informed lifestyle choices. As a major expansion of our DNA product line, the MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test includes dozens of personalized and easy-to-understand health reports. It also includes all of the features of the current MyHeritage DNA test (to be referred to from now on as the MyHeritage DNA Ancestry-Only test), including matching to relatives based on shared DNA, ethnicity estimates, a chromosome browser, and others.
With the new Health + Ancestry test, you’ll learn how your genes can affect your health. Your results include reports for conditions caused by single genes, such as hereditary breast cancer, late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and late-onset Parkinson’s disease; conditions caused by multiple variants, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and female breast cancer; and carrier status reports on conditions that can be passed down from a couple to their children, such as Tay-Sachs disease and cystic fibrosis. Altogether, the MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test covers one of the most extensive ranges of conditions offered by an at-home DNA test, and we are working on adding many more conditions immediately following the launch and going forward.
To order your kit, visit the MyHeritage DNA website. You’ll be able to choose between the Ancestry-Only kit and the new Health + Ancestry kit.
Powerful insights can motivate people to take a more proactive role in their healthcare management. With the launch of our new product, we hope to expand our mission from changing lives to saving lives.
Learn more about the MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test in this video.–snip–
Below we have listed some of the main benefits of the MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test.
The MyHeritage Health + Ancestry test is the only major consumer health test that has been launched internationally and is available not only in English but in a large number of additional languages. MyHeritage is well-known for its international reach and for supporting 42 languages. This has helped make it the most popular DNA test in Europe. From day one, we are striving to make MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry the genetic test for health with the widest global reach. By testing a more diverse global audience, our science team will be able to gain knowledge to enhance the product in the future and to cover a wider range of health conditions that are relevant to diverse populations around the globe.
Genetic Risk Reports
At launch, we offer 14 genetic risk reports that explain an individual’s genetic risk for developing specific conditions. The reports also show the risk in the general population, for convenient comparison. The genetic risk reports include monogenic and polygenic conditions, which are described in detail further below. These conditions include heart disease, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and others.
For a full list of conditions supported by our test, visit our disease list page.
Our reports do not diagnose any health conditions or provide medical advice, and they do not determine whether you have or will develop any condition. The reports offer valuable information that you can share with your doctor so you can make choices about your health management, such as lifestyle changes, that may reduce your risk for certain conditions. The report for each condition includes sections on additional risk factors, more information about the condition, as well as details that explain the test methodology.
Carrier Status Reports
Carrier Status Reports provide insight on whether you are a carrier for certain hereditary conditions. If both parents are carriers for the same genetic condition, there is a 25% chance that their child could have the condition and a 50% chance that their child would not have the condition but would be a carrier. Carrier Status Reports are therefore important for family planning. They can also be useful at an older age, providing insight to the children of a parent who is a carrier, as they might also be carriers which would be helpful to know before they begin their own family planning. More detail about the Carrier Status Reports is provided further below.
Physician Oversight and Genetic Counseling; Questionnaire
In the United States, we work with an independent network of physicians called PWNHealth, which supervises this new service and provides clinical oversight.
As with our current genealogical DNA kit, activation is required to associate the kit with the individual who is taking the test. With the MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry kit, activation must be done by the user who took the DNA test and it includes an additional step: completing a personal and family health history questionnaire. This ensures that users receive the reports that are appropriate for them. In the United States, an independent physician will review each health history questionnaire, approve the processing of the test, and evaluate all health reports before they are released. When a report indicates an increased risk for a specific condition, the physician will further determine whether genetic counseling is advised. If genetic counseling is recommended, a phone or video consultation with a genetic counselor from PWNHealth is included at no additional cost.
In the United States, the physician oversight and genetic counseling is an important benefit of the MyHeritage DNA Ancestry + Health test. This ensures that users will not be on their own when interpreting the results, in cases where the results indicate increased risk and the physician considers genetic counseling to be essential. In other words, our test provides access to experts who can help people understand their results, which our major competitor does not provide.
Methodology and Technology
The MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test is a Lab Developed Test and is processed in our CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited laboratory located in the United States.
This new product is based on robust scientific research conducted by the MyHeritage Science team led by MyHeritage’s Chief Science Officer, Dr. Yaniv Erlich. It has been in development for two years and leverages the company’s growing expertise in genomics. In the past year alone, the MyHeritage Science team has published two groundbreaking papers in the highly acclaimed academic journal Science.
DNA analysis for the Health + Ancestry test is based on a new DNA chip — Illumina’s Global Screening Array (GSA) — custom-designed by MyHeritage. In the design of the new DNA chip, we were able to balance the needs of genetic genealogy and health testing to create a single state-of-the-art chip with an appropriate selection of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The new chip gives us the flexibility to efficiently introduce new health reports, while continuing to deliver excellent DNA matching for genetic genealogy, and ethnicity estimates (the resolution of which we are planning to improve soon). This will make MyHeritage a one-stop-shop for health and genealogy DNA testing for consumers worldwide.
We take extra steps to reduce the chance of reporting false positives: for conditions with significantly increased genetic risk, such as cancers, we double-check all pathogenic findings with Sanger sequencing, which is the gold standard in molecular testing.
The transition to the new GSA chip has caused an initial delay in supply by Illumina, and lab results were delayed during March, but we’re glad to update that in April we managed to overcome 99% of the backlog. Processing time in the lab is now back to the regular duration of 3–4 weeks, for both genealogy and health kits.
Privacy and Security
Your privacy is our top priority. MyHeritage health reports have been designed with enhanced layers of security and multiple levels of encryption. Every report is encrypted with a unique password that only the user knows, and MyHeritage avoids storing any of these passwords. All identifying information is stored separately from DNA data and health information. Even MyHeritage employees cannot access users’ health reports. Upon an explicit request from a user, for customer support purposes, a designated MyHeritage employee can re-generate a health report which both the designated employee and the customer can see, for a limited period. This technical support capability is limited to a tiny daily quota to prevent abuse. Other than the user who has taken a health test, no other users can ever view the health reports, including the person who buys a health test as a gift for someone else. In the United States, the physician network PWNHealth has access to a summarized version of the health reports in order to provide clinical oversight but has no access to the users’ accounts on MyHeritage nor any of the additional information stored within them.
You are the sole owner of your data and not MyHeritage. You can delete your data permanently at any time.
To date, MyHeritage has never sold or licensed personal data, and pledges never to do so in the future without the user’s explicit informed consent.
MyHeritage is the only consumer DNA company that has pledged to never sell data to insurance companies. This restriction covers all circumstances! MyHeritage has also adopted a strict policy that prohibits the use of our DNA services by law enforcement agencies.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive in and view the reports in more detail.
Genetic Risk Reports — more details
Genetic Risk Reports include reports for conditions caused by variants in a single gene (monogenic), as well as for common conditions that are caused by multiple variants across the genome (polygenic).
Most common conditions — those that afflict the largest number of people worldwide — are polygenic. This means that they are influenced by several hundred or even thousands of genetic variants — in addition to lifestyle and environmental factors.
MyHeritage is currently the only consumer DNA testing company to offer Polygenic Risk Reports for multiple conditions. These reports are based on a cutting-edge method called Polygenic Risk Scores, which examines hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of variants across the entire genome, rather than just a single genetic variant. This is helpful in providing an indication of genetic risk for some of the most prevalent health conditions worldwide, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast cancer. Three Polygenic Risk Reports are included in the product at launch and more are being developed right now.
Among the Polygenic Risk Reports, MyHeritage provides a risk report for heart disease, also called cardiovascular disease. The inclusion of a Polygenic Risk Report for heart disease is unique to MyHeritage. According to the World Health Organization, heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, and it estimates that 17.9 million people die each year from some form of cardiovascular disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Approximately 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year — that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. The MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test provides an estimate of your genetic risk for heart disease, which you can then share with your doctor for more informed and personalized care.
In addition to heart disease, the Health + Ancestry test includes a Polygenic Risk Score for type 2 diabetes, a condition that has significantly increased in prevalence in recent decades. Type 2 diabetes now affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide and is predicted to affect 40% of Americans within their lifetime.
MyHeritage is also unique among home DNA tests in providing a Polygenic Risk Score for breast cancer. This report provides a risk assessment for breast cancer for women who did not have a BRCA variant identified by their MyHeritage test. It is important to note that the MyHeritage test does not look for all possible BRCA variants.
More Polygenic Risk Reports will be added soon, following the initial release. The three initial Polygenic Risk Reports are based on studies of European populations, so they are only available for people who are mainly of European ancestry. We have begun conducting research to allow the polygenic reports to cover a broader spectrum of populations in the future.
Monogenic conditions are genetic conditions that are associated with a change in a single gene. Some of the monogenic conditions that we test for include hereditary BRCA cancers (for which we support more variants than our major competitor), hereditary thrombophilia, and Crohn’s disease. We also provide a genetic risk estimate for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, which are the two most common neurodegenerative disorders. One in every ten people aged 65 or older has Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s affects ten million patients worldwide. As both conditions are incurable, we give users the option to disable health reports for these conditions if they prefer not to know the results.
For each condition, you can read more in the additional tabs: “Other risk factors”, “About the condition”, and “Report details”.
Carrier Status Reports — more details
People who are carriers of a genetic disease may not even know it. Most carriers never develop any symptoms, but they can still pass on the variant — or the disease itself — to their children.
Carrier status reports are provided in a separate set of screens within the health reports.
When planning a family, carrier testing is recommended so that you can be aware of the risks, if you and your partner are carriers for the same genetic condition.
For example, Tay-Sachs is a serious genetic disorder that results in the destruction of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Tay-Sachs can occur when both parents carry a pathogenic variant in the Tay-Sachs gene. If each parent passes the pathogenic variant on to their child, their child may develop Tay-Sachs disease. A person with only one pathogenic variant on the Tay-Sachs gene is healthy but is a carrier of the disease. The Carrier Status Report, as shown below, can inform you if you are likely to be a carrier for Tay-Sachs disease.
MyHeritage has limited the scope of Carrier Status Reports available at launch because our science team applies very rigorous validation against false positives and false negatives. A large number of reports were not ready for the launch, and we were not willing to cut any corners just for the sake of making a bigger announcement. We will release these additional Carrier Status Reports gradually as we validate them, and there will be no need for users to re-test to receive them.
For a full list of Carrier Status Reports currently supported by our test, visit our disease list page.
Pricing; How to Order a MyHeritage Health + Ancestry Test
The MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test costs $199 + shipping.
Customers who have tested with MyHeritage DNA (Ancestry-Only) can upgrade to receive the health reports without testing their DNA again, for $120.
In some locations, taxes are added to these prices. In Europe and other countries, prices may differ and are stated in the local currencies.
Order a Health Upgrade (for existing MyHeritage DNA customers)
We also offer a Health subscription as an optional add-on for the kit, priced at $99 per year, which gives you access to all new health reports as they are released, without the need to re-test your DNA. The Health subscription also grants you access to all of our advanced DNA features for genealogy that previously required a MyHeritage site subscription (such as viewing family trees of DNA matches, viewing shared matches and ethnicities, and shared ancestral places).
As a special gift to celebrate the launch, customers who purchase the MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test or upgrade a MyHeritage DNA test to receive health reports, and add the Health subscription, are currently entitled to receive the first year of the Health subscription for free. The Health subscription can be canceled at any time.
How to Take the Test
As with our original MyHeritage DNA Ancestry-Only test, our new Health + Ancestry test comes in a great-looking box, this time with a beautiful blue design. Order it on our website (or soon through Amazon.com) and it will be shipped to your address. As with our current DNA test, the sample is collected with a simple cheek swab. Collecting a DNA sample is very simple and does not involve blood or spit. Activation is required, and at that time a health questionnaire should be filled out.
The kit includes instructions for activation and for the collection of the DNA sample. The sample should then be mailed to our lab for analysis. The new Health + Ancestry test includes a small cardboard return box (which is more sturdy) instead of a return envelope. The kit’s progress can be tracked on MyHeritage throughout the entire process. The user will be invited to view the results on the MyHeritage site when they are ready. Results are provided in a new area on the website called “Health”, and we will elaborate on it in a separate blog post soon.
Lab Processing Time
Lab processing time for Health + Ancestry samples will be 3–4 weeks, but the first customers should initially allow 4–6 weeks for processing, as this is a new product that requires some new procedures. If there are findings in the results that require validation using Sanger sequencing, users will be notified and lab results will be delayed by 2 additional weeks.
MyHeritage DNA customers who upgrade to receive health reports will receive them in a few days, if their genealogical DNA test was processed on the GSA chip (i.e. if they received their DNA results in April 2019 or later). Customers who upgrade a genealogical kit that was tested on the former Omni chip (i.e. they received their results in March 2019 or earlier) will need to wait 3–4 weeks because their DNA sample will need to be processed again on the new GSA chip (which MyHeritage will do at its own additional expense). However, the first customers who upgrade should also allow 4–6 weeks for processing. Note that customers who upgrade will also be required to fill out the health questionnaire, and they may also be subject to a 2-week delay if Sanger sequencing is required.
The MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test is available for purchase by consumers aged 18 and older. You may purchase it as a gift for someone else, but note that, unlike a genealogical DNA kit, you cannot manage a health kit for someone else — only the person who is tested can see their health reports and no one else.
The MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test is available globally, except in a few countries that do not allow health-related consumer genetic testing. In the USA, it is available in all states except New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
Combining health with family history research
Some of our users may be wondering if the development of the new health DNA test means that MyHeritage is changing direction or is going to invest less resources in genealogy. In fact, the opposite is true. As a genealogy company, we believe that family history research and understanding personal health go hand in hand.
A portion of a person’s health trajectory is hereditary, based on the genes we inherit from our parents, which they inherited from their parents, and so on.
The discoveries you can make with your MyHeritage DNA results are even more useful when there is a family tree associated with those results, giving you better insights into your DNA Matches, and now on your health as well. By knowing your family history, you will be able to gain a deeper understanding of your health within a wider family context, as opposed to just looking at the health of a single individual.
We have already integrated genealogical DNA results with family trees, and we hope to integrate health insights with family trees in the future as well. This will be very advantageous to our users who have family trees, giving them a greater understanding of the impact of hereditary conditions on their family over time, and an understanding of who they inherited certain conditions from.
FAQ: Below are answers to some key questions about the new product:
In what ways is your new health product different than 23andMe?
MyHeritage is unique in providing Polygenic Risk Reports for heart disease and breast cancer. MyHeritage also covers more BRCA variants.
In the USA, MyHeritage provides built-in physician oversight, and genetic counseling (if required), whereas 23andMe does not. Outside of the USA, MyHeritage has a much stronger international reach and its product is available in many languages, compared to 23andMe, which is only available in English.
MyHeritage provides an integration with family trees and a rich platform of nearly 10 billion historical records — all absent on 23andMe.
MyHeritage provides 24/7 support, whereas 23andMe does not.
In both companies, the health DNA product includes genealogical features, such as DNA matching and ethnicity estimates. However, MyHeritage provides better value to genealogists thanks to its integration with family trees and historical records. For example, it supports AutoClustering and the Theory of Family Relativity™ (which explains how DNA Matches are related), which 23andMe does not have. It allows users to view the family trees of their DNA Matches, and view shared ancestral surnames, shared ancestral places, and so on. These features are either missing or lacking on 23andMe. Because MyHeritage is a genealogy company, DNA Matches are far more responsive and collaborative on MyHeritage than on 23andMe.
Last but not least, in terms of privacy, MyHeritage has never sold user data and has pledged to never do so without the user’s explicit informed consent. MyHeritage has likewise pledged to never share user data with insurance companies under any circumstances.
I’ve already done a health-related DNA test such as 23andMe. Should I test again with your product?
Yes, this is recommended in order for you to get a second opinion, and to benefit from health reports and insights that are unique to MyHeritage.
Can I upload data from a DNA test I already took through another provider and get health reports from MyHeritage?
No. Uploading data from other providers will give you the genealogical benefits of MyHeritage DNA (matching and ethnicity estimates) but not health reports. To get the MyHeritage DNA health reports, you need to purchase the MyHeritage DNA kit. Or, if you have purchased the MyHeritage DNA kit in the past, you can purchase a health upgrade.
Should other members of my family be tested?
Testing additional family members is recommended. Each of your family members carries unique pieces of DNA that together can unlock your family’s story. From a genealogical perspective, testing parents, siblings, cousins and other relatives is very useful for discovering more relatives and for learning more about your own matches.
From a health perspective, your results may provide you with valuable insights, and may also provide information that is relevant for other family members. Testing other family members can help clarify their genetic risk and can be useful in creating a more complete picture of your family’s health. In the future, testing more family members may better inform the genetic risk calculations of every individual in the family, but such functionality is not available in the initial release.
Any family member who wants to take a DNA test will need to be tested separately in order to understand their genetic risk. You may purchase multiple MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry kits, however each family member will need to create their own account and activate their own kit. In order to ensure your privacy and that of your family members, you may not activate or manage a Health + Ancestry kit for another person.
Can I buy a DNA test for my child who is a minor?
No. People below the age of 18 are not eligible to take the health test.
Why is your health test not available for residents of New York?
Our DNA lab currently doesn’t have an additional permit required by the state of New York for our new health product and we hope to resolve this in the future.
How can I receive health reports if I am already a MyHeritage DNA customer?
Customers who have already taken a MyHeritage DNA test for genealogy may purchase the MyHeritage DNA Health Upgrade for $120. After you purchase the upgrade online, you’ll be asked to complete a questionnaire about your personal and family health history, and then our lab will analyze your existing DNA sample for health results. No new swab or DNA kit are needed. You’ll be notified by email as soon as your health reports are ready.
I manage MyHeritage DNA Ancestry-Only kits for some of my family members. Can I purchase a health upgrade for these kits?
Not yet. You will soon be able to purchase a Health Upgrade for your family members, but note that only they will be able to access their Health results.
Does MyHeritage generate health results when I buy a genealogy (Ancestry-Only) DNA kit?
No. This is done only when you purchase a Health Upgrade for your existing Ancestry-Only kit, or if you buy the new MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry kit.
Does this new product mean that MyHeritage will now sell out my DNA data to all sorts of pharmaceutical companies?
MyHeritage will never sell or license data without the user’s explicit informed consent.
I heard that the ethnicity estimates on MyHeritage are not very accurate. Does that mean that the health results are inaccurate?
No. The ethnicity estimates are only estimates. They are based on a panel of other users and lots of statistics. On the other hand, the analysis of health results is based on rigorous scientific study and is augmented by sequencing to protect against false positives.
Who do I contact if I have questions?
For questions regarding the MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test, contact the MyHeritage Support team by visiting our Help Center, or call us toll-free at 1-800-MYHERITAGE.
If you reside in the United States and have health or genetics related questions before or after taking the test about whether this test is right for you, about the independent physician’s review, or how to interpret your health reports, contact PWNHealth at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 888-494-7333.
MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry is not a diagnostic test and results may not cover all of the variants associated with a particular condition.
The new health product is not intended to independently diagnose, prevent, or treat any disease or condition or tell users anything about their current state of health in the absence of medical and clinical information. The product is also not intended for making medical decisions, including prescription or dosing of medications. Users may need to obtain further services from their physician, a genetic counselor, or other healthcare provider, in order to obtain diagnostic results regarding the conditions or diseases indicated within the MyHeritage DNA health reports. The health reports provide genetic risk information based on assessment of specific genetic variants but do not report on users’ entire genetic profile. The health reports do not detect all genetic variants related to a given disease, and the absence of a variant tested does not rule out the presence of other genetic variants that may be related to the disease. For most diseases, currently known genes are only responsible for a portion of the overall risk. Other factors such as environment and lifestyle may affect the risk of developing a given disease and, depending on the condition, may be more relevant predictors. If a user’s data indicate that the user is not at elevated genetic risk for a disease or condition, this should not be interpreted as meaning that the user is safe from developing the disease or condition. The opposite is also true; if a user’s data indicates that the user is at an elevated genetic risk for a disease or condition, it does not mean that the user will develop the disease or condition. Any findings within the health reports should be confirmed and supplemented by additional medical and clinical testing as recommended by the user’s healthcare provider.
Certain conditions may be excluded from the user’s health reports based on the user’s ethnicity, or personal and family health history. As this test looks at only some of the variants for a condition, having a personal or family health history of the condition may warrant more thorough testing. If certain reports are excluded, or if the user has a family history of one or more of the conditions we test for, the user should speak to a genetic counselor or a healthcare provider to discuss whether additional testing, screening, and/or evaluation may be appropriate.
Learn more by reviewing our Terms and Conditions.
With the introduction of the Health + Ancestry test, MyHeritage is now the only service of its kind that helps users enrich their lives and get insights about their past, present, and future. Our products enable users to discover their family history and ethnic origins, find relatives through shared DNA, and receive valuable insights that can impact their future wellbeing.
The MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test offers an extensive range of health reports at launch, which will continue to grow and evolve rapidly. We are already working on the next batch of reports for new conditions, which will bring added value to all users who want to learn more about how their genes may affect their health.
We look forward to helping our users gain a deeper understanding of their health, and to inspire them to make positive changes in their lives, for their future, and for the future of their families.