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Jun 16, 2022

23andMe Improves Carrier Status Report for People with Asian Ancestry

23andMe updated its report on an inherited condition characterized by mild to profound hearing loss.

The update to 23andMe’s Nonsyndromic Hearing Loss and Deafness, DFNB1 (GJB2-Related) Carrier Status report adds six variants that improve the coverage of the test for people with East Asian, Southeast Asian, and South Asian ancestry.

“We are extremely excited about this report update, which allows us to provide new and meaningful genetic information to tens of thousands of our customers,” said 23andMe Product Scientist Ruth Tennen. “This is one step forward in our efforts to make our health reports more equitable, and to work toward a future in which people of all ancestries can access, understand, and benefit from the human genome.”

The drive behind this update was to add variants that would make the report more relevant to people of diverse ancestries. Because being a carrier for DFNB1 is quite common in people of East Asian and Southeast Asian descent, we prioritized adding variants that are commonly found in those populations. With the addition of the new variants, up to 15 percent of our East Asian and Southeast Asian customers will receive an update indicating that they have a variant detected. More than 1 percent of our South Asian customers will receive a similar update. In total, more than 100,000 Health + Ancestry Service customers across all ancestries will receive an updated report with a new variant detected.

You can read (a lot) more in an article in the 23andMe Blog at: https://blog.23andme.com/health-traits/dfnb1/.