Date: March 04, 2018
Signing up for a genetic test to learn about your ancestry could also hand you a crystal ball to foretell your future. But it may be information you’d rather not know.
The test can indicate if you carry what geneticists call, “doomsday genes.” Are you predisposed to late-onset Alzheimer’s? Prone to the progressive muscular deterioration of Parkinson’s? Or, if you’re a woman, do you carry the BRCA gene, often a precursor of breast and ovarian cancer?
Genetic testing has been available at doctors’ offices and hospitals for almost 20 years. But now it’s as simple as purchasing a kit from a “personal genomics and biotechnology company” such as 23andMe for $199 and mailing back your cotton cheek swab in the enclosed wrapper. These kits are frequently advertised on TV and are extremely popular.
Knowing your ancestry, be it African, Asian, European or Native American, is one thing. But learning early about future disabling diseases is another. Those who provide their sputum — and more than 2 million people do — can get ahead of the curve and buy life insurance if the results show the future looks short. Or they can obtain long-term care (LTC) insurance if it’s likely they’ll spend their final years in a nursing home, where annual costs now average nearly $100,000.”