About 2,000 patients took part in the Multiplex Initiative. Of those, 266 agreed to do the free multiplex genetic testing which can detect common variants of genes that slightly alter the chances of acquiring particular diseases.
Researchers at Henry Ford, a major health provider in metropolitan Detroit, randomly selected individuals between the ages of 25 and 40 to participate in the study.
The term "multiplex" refers to performing multiple genetic tests using the same blood sample. The test used for the study was designed to yield information about 15 different genes that play roles in type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and malignant melanoma.
On average, those who get tested in the Multiplex Initiative received results indicating that they carry four to 10 risk versions of individual genes. However, having a risk version of one of the 15 genes on the multiplex genetic test does not mean that a person is certain to get the condition only that he or she might have a greater chance of developing the disorder. There are many things other than genetics that contribute to the risk of common diseases, including lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, smoking, and sun exposure.
Once enrolled, participants were asked to review information online about the multiplex genetic test and to decide whether they were interested in taking the test. Those who agreed to testing met with a research educator, who provided more information about the risks and benefits of testing and obtained the patient's written consent.
Test results were mailed to participants. Trained research educators called the participants to help them interpret and understand their results. The stu
|Contact: Krista Hopson|
Henry Ford Health System