Genomic Testing
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WholeMe

In partnership with Helix, a personal genomics company, we are launching a groundbreaking project – WholeMe, the first study of its kind in Florida.

Participants will learn about traits that may impact their daily life, such as lactose tolerance, caffeine metabolism and sweet tooth. The DNA will also be evaluated for the genes linked to familial hypercholesterolemia, known as FH – a genetic condition that causes high cholesterol. If left untreated, it can lead to a heart attack, even in young adults.

Individuals identified with FH will receive a complementary confirmatory blood test and one session with a genetic counselor. In addition, they will be connected with one of our cardiologists to take preventive measures to benefit their health.

Our researchers hope to show how genomics can be successfully integrated into health care to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and empower consumers with potential life-saving information about their health.

In partnership with: 

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Join WholeMe

Ten-thousand people will have the opportunity to join the study. While its open to all adults who live in Florida, the enrollment sites will be based in the Orlando area. There is no cost to join the study.

Starting on July 24, participants will be able to choose a date and time to reserve an appointment at one of the available locations.

The enrollment process takes up to 1 hour and needs to be completed in person. The main only requirements to join the study are:

  • Be an adult (+18 years old)
  • Have a government issued Florida Identification card
  • Be able to read and understand English

Please remember no drinking, smoking, eating, chewing gum, mints within 30 minutes of providing your saliva sample.

Please note Helix may not be able to sequence your DNA if:

  • You have previously had a bone marrow transplant
  • You have had a blood transfusion in the last month
  • You have had recent chemotherapy treatment in the last 3 months
  • You have an active diagnosis of a hematological (blood) cancer
A female patient fills out paperwork for her doctor appointment.

WholeMe Traits

By participating in WholeMe, in addition to testing your DNA for FH, you will be able to find out about your ancestry traits and other 22 personal genetic traits that will help you get to know you at a whole different level.

  • Asparagus Odor Detection
  • Bitter Taste
  • Caffeine Metabolism
  • Cilantro Taste Aversion
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Coffee Consumption
  • Delayed Sleep
  • Earwax Type
  • Endurance vs Power
  • Exercise Impact on Weight
  • Eye Color
  • Freckling
  • Hair Curl & Texture
  • Hand Grip Strength
  • Height
  • Lactose Tolerance
  • Sleep Duration
  • Sleep Movement
  • Sleeplessness
  • Sweet Tooth
  • Tan vs. Sunburn
  • Waist Size

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the WholeMe pilot?

WholeMe is a first-of-its-kind DNA study in Florida that will empower consumers with potential life-saving information about their heart health. Ten-thousand people will have the opportunity to join the WholeMe study, in which Helix will evaluate their DNA for the genes linked to familial hypercholesterolemia, known as “FH.”

Why are we doing this?

From disease prevention to diagnosis to treatment, genomics is the future of medicine. Genomics will be an essential component of health care not just for the individual, but for our greater community as we focus on wellness and preventative care. The implications of genomics programs are significant for today’s patients, and importantly, the future of Florida’s health. WholeMe is an important first step in our genomics program, and the study will:

  • Advance screening for heart disease
  • Engage the community an increase their awareness of genetics and genomics in their health
  • Learn how consumers respond and learn if the information influences their health decisions
  • Determine if knowledge is power for the consumer
What are we evaluating?

We will evaluate participants’ DNA for the genes linked to familial hypercholesterolemia, known as “FH.” In addition to the FH screening, participants’ will learn about other areas of their health such as lactose and gluten tolerance, magnesium and calcium levels, and their ability to adapt to arctic climates.

Who can join the study?

Adults who are able to enroll in-person at locations throughout Central Florida can join the study beginning in July. For information, visit wholemeflorida.com

What’s familial hypercholesteremia?

FH is a life-threatening genetic condition that causes high cholesterol. If left untreated, it can lead to a heart attack, even in young adults. FH requires more aggressive treatment as it is more serious that having high cholesterol caused by your diet.

If I have familial hypercholesteremia, will I have a heart attack?

If left untreated, FH leads to early heart disease, heart attacks and atherosclerosis (the narrowing and blocking of blood vessels). Early diagnosis and treatment are key. (Source: FH Foundation)

If I don’t have familial hypercholesteremia, does that mean I will not have a heart attack or stroke?

FH is just one genetic condition and the absence of it does not safeguard you from heart attack, heart disease or stroke.

If I have FH, do my children need to be tested?

If you have FH, each of your children will have a 50 percent chance of having it. Also, if your sibling has FH and your cholesterol is “borderline” or mildly elevated, there is a chance you could have FH.  (Source: FH Foundation)

If I have FH, can I be kicked off my health insurance, life insurance, or not be approved for either in the future?

In the unlikely event there is an unintended disclosure of information that can be used to identify you, it could affect your insurability, family relationships, or other legal rights. You should know that there are laws in place to prevent this from taking place. A federal law called the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) generally makes it illegal for health insurance companies, group health plans, and most employers to discriminate against you based on your genetic information. GINA does not apply to life insurance or disability insurance. Please ask the study investigator or study staff if you would like to know more about how your information will be protected while you are in this study.

 

If I have FH, can my children be denied medical or insurance coverage?

Your family is protected by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).

Is this information incorporated into my medical record?

Not automatically, as WholeMe is a research study conducted outside standard health care. However, should a participant take the information to their provider or seek care as a result of the FH diagnosis, it could be.

How long will the study last?

Researchers will check in with participants six months after they receive their DNA results.

 

Is there any cost to the consumer?

Participation in the research study is free. Participants will receive results of the FH screening, as well as the pre-identified areas such as lactose intolerance. Outside the study, participants can purchase additional results through Helix.

 

Who owns my genetic test results?

You do.  Under Florida law, a person owns the results from testing their DNA. If you agree to participate in this research, you agree to let AdventHealth and its collaborators use your genetic test results for research.

Can law enforcement obtain my genetic test results if I participate in this study?

If a law enforcement agency were to attempt to obtain your genetic test results from AdventHealth Orlando, we would not disclose those results unless we were ordered to do so by a court. It is unlikely that a court would issue an order to produce your genetic information.

If my genetic test results show an increased risk for FH, can I be kicked off my health insurance, life insurance or disability insurance?

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) is a federal law that protects individuals from genetic discrimination in health insurance and employment. GINA makes it illegal for health insurers to use a genetic test result, or family health history, as a reason to deny your health insurance or decide how much you pay for your health insurance. However, GINA does not cover life insurance, disability insurance, or long-term care insurance. See ginahelp.org for more information about GINA. Please ask the study investigator or study staff if you would like to know more about how your information will be protected while you are in this study.

 

If my genetic test results show an increased risk for FH, can my children be denied health insurance coverage?

No. Your family is protected by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), just like you are.

When It Comes To Your Health,

Is Knowledge Power?

What if doctors could uncover your risk for disease and help you prevent it? Or determine whether a therapy or dose of medicine will be effective for your specific health needs? What if your health care plan was based on a sample size of 1 – just you?

With genomic profiles, physicians and researchers can determine with unprecedented accuracy if someone is at risk for cancer, heart disease and other conditions.  From disease prevention to diagnosis to treatment, genomics is the future of medicine and will be an essential component of all health care.

Earlier this year, we began laying the foundation for our comprehensive program — AdventHealth Genomics & Personalized Health — which will ultimately provide comprehensive genomics testing, analysis, interpretation and genetic counseling services.

When it comes to treating the whole person, our genomics program will deliver on the renewed focus we promised during the launch of our new brand, AdventHealth. We believe personalized medicine that focuses on the whole person is superior health care and nothing is more personal than your DNA.

At AdventHealth, we believe knowledge is power.