WINTER PARK, Fla., March 10, 2020— AdventHealth is seeking participants for a groundbreaking genomic study offering a better understanding of genetic conditions that can potentially lead to hereditary diseases.
Known as WholeMe, the study launched in 2019 with a focus on a genetic condition called familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), a genetic condition that causes high cholesterol. If left untreated, it can lead to a heart attack, even in young adults.
After a pause in recruitment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WholeMe has resumed, with expanded screening for a wider range of genetic markers. This new phase will include screening for other heart conditions and hereditary cancers such as breast/ovarian cancer (BRCA) and colon cancer (Lynch syndrome).
Equipped with this information, physicians can personalize patients’ health care and help prevent, diagnose and treat serious health risks.
“We see personalized medicine as the future of health care,” said Rebecca Essner, a data scientist and geneticist at the AdventHealth Research Institute. “Unlocking this genomic information empowers participants to lead a healthier lifestyle, and it helps physicians better treat their patients.”
As in the first phase of the study, participants will continue to receive information about their ancestry and a variety of traits, such as such as lactose tolerance, caffeine metabolism and sweet tooth.
Researchers are seeking 3,000 participants to reach the statewide goal of 10,000. Participation is free, and all Florida residents are eligible. The study is being conducted in partnership with population-genomics company Helix.
The study site is located at 664 Cherry Street, Winter Park, FL 32789. Each Monday in March, volunteers can walk in for no-cost genetic testing with no appointment needed, from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm.
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