Genetic testing that allows people to learn which health disorders they are more vulnerable to developing provides information they find valuable and can act on. This type of testing has become widely available in recent years, partially due to the work of Jim Plante.
Mr. Plante founded Pathway Genomics in 2008 and continued as the company’s Chief Executive Officer until September 2017. Currently, he is the CEO of another company he founded. Klotho Therapeutics concentrates on developing effective treatments for major diseases, particularly kidney disease.
Consider what happens when someone decides to find out whether genetic testing indicates he or she is more likely to become hypertensive or develop high cholesterol. These individuals may have parents with high blood pressure or high cholesterol, making them suspect they will be prone to the disorders as well.
Taking Preventive Action
Confirming this with the test motivates them to take preventive action and keep a careful watch on the situation. They might buy a blood pressure monitor to use at home and have their cholesterol checked annually. They can make changes in their diet to help them lose weight if necessary. Beginning a regular exercise program is another preventive strategy if they have not already done this.
Young adults whose close family members have been diagnosed with those conditions can have the testing done early on, arming them with the knowledge they need to start with these beneficial steps from an early age. Even earlier testing should be done when a parent is diagnosed with a condition called familial hypercholesterolemia, or FH. The disorder limits the liver’s ability to remove low-density lipoproteins, commonly called bad cholesterol, from the blood. That leads to elevations in these numbers.
Testing can determine whether a child has the gene variant associated with this disorder. Cholesterol levels can be monitored from then on, something that normally isn’t done with children. Statin medication can be prescribed if high cholesterol does develop during the childhood, teen or young adult years. People with FH are at significantly greater risk of heart disease, so bringing the levels into normal range is imperative.