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New Study Indicates Some Home Genetic Test Kits May Not Be Accurate
Celiac.com 08/04/2011 - People who use direct-to-consumer genetic tests sold by deCODEme and 23andMe frequently receive misleading results, because these tests do not accurately predict risk factors. So say two geneticists, who conducted two studies that assessed the accuracy of test predictions relative to various known disease risks.
Presenting their results from both studies at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics, the scientists have gone so far as to call for a ban on the tests.
The first study was conducted by Rachel Kalf, from the department of epidemiology at Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam. Using established genotype frequencies, Kalf simulated genotype data for 100,000 individuals. She then used the formulas and risk data provided by the test companies to predict risks for eight common multi-factorial diseases: age-related macular degeneration (AMD); atrial fibrillation; celiac disease; Crohn's disease; heart attack; prostate cancer; and Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes (T2D).
Kalf noted that both companies assigned an increased risk to a substantial part of the test group. However, Kalf says the risk of disease in this group was often substantially lower than the risk in the rest of the study group.
For example, for AMD, which has the highest predictive ability of all eight diseases, both companies assumed that the risk in the population was around 8 percent. However, among subject assigned an increased risk factor, 23andMe estimated risk at 16 percent, while deCODEme's estimated that 19 percent would develop AMD. This contrasts with a risk of about 4 percent for the rest of the study population.
This means that people in the higher risk group may have a four-fold increased risk of disease, but "are still far more likely not to develop the disease at all," explains co-researcher Cecile Janssens.
For T2D, using the risk levels of about 25 percent assigned by the companies, 32 percent of those in the higher risk group would actually develop T2D compared to just 22 percent in the rest of the study population. "This difference in disease risk is too small to be of relevance," says Janssens.
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Secretory Immunoglobulin A, CD71, and Transglutaminase-2 Interactions Alter Permeability of Intestinal Epithelial Cells to Gliadin Peptides
In duodenal biopsy samples from people with active celiac disease, the transferrin receptor, CD71, is up-regulated, and promotes retro-transport of secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA)-gliadin complexes.... [READ MORE]
Immune Phenotype of Children with Newly Diagnosed and Gluten-Free Diet-Treated Celiac Disease
What's happening in with the immune system when a child is first diagnosed with celiac disease? What happens when they are treated with a gluten-free diet?Some recent studies have indicated that both the adaptive and the innate immune system play roles in celiac disease.... [READ MORE]
No Higher Rotavirus Risk for Adult Celiac Disease Patients
Many patients who show up at hospitals and clinics with non-specific gastrointestinal symptoms have rotavirus infectionA team of researchers recently studied a large cohort of adults with non-specific gastrointestinal complaints to see if people with celiac disease had any higher for rotavirus.... [READ MORE]
Immune System Cells May Trigger Food Allergies and Gastrointestinal Inflammation
Nature Immunology 2, 353 - 360 (April 2001)
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Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams
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