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Old 03-05-2013, 09:05 AM   #41
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Just got my health results. The ancestry stuff will come in later. My wife's results are a little behind me, even though we sent in our samples at the same time. So far the health results look pretty interesting. Lots of data to look through!
Do you feel it was worth the 99 big ones?

DW and I are looking into this also. We figured it could provide some insight into family genetics as 3 of 4 of my grandparents died at a young age. All were heavy drinkers and smokers, so I don't know what long term problems lie within the family.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:31 AM   #42
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Do you feel it was worth the 99 big ones?
I think so, although I don't fully understand how accurate these results are yet. Some indicators have high confidence but the majority seem to be based on study groups so they may or may not be accurate at all. My highest health risk is something I always suspected based on family history but it's nice to see it confirmed by genetics. But it's a disease that has pretty equal weighting between genetic factors and environmental factors.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:40 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by timeasterday

I think so, although I don't fully understand how accurate these results are yet. Some indicators have high confidence but the majority seem to be based on study groups so they may or may not be accurate at all. My highest health risk is something I always suspected based on family history but it's nice to see it confirmed by genetics. But it's a disease that has pretty equal weighting between genetic factors and environmental factors.
This is very interesting to me, and I enjoy the comments on it. But for now, me personally , I would just prefer an autopsy on me at 85 with them commenting "How did this guy live so long with all these undiagnosed diseases?"
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:19 AM   #44
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Nords, I'm always interested in your perspective, so let us know when the blog posts are up.
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Bumping up this thread. I would be interested to know if anyone tried this genetic testing service and whether the results are useful to them. Thank you.
Took me a long time to get through it and write it up, but it's posted:
23andMe genetic testing

To clear up a couple of points in my earlier posts on this thread, Congress has legislated federal protection of genomes for health insurance and employment. In other words, health insurers and employers are not allowed to discriminate against you in those two areas-- for whatever that's worth. The legal reference link is in the blog post. Thanks to all those of you here who got me started on the research.

There is no legal protection (that I'm aware of) of one's genome for long-term care insurance, disability insurance, or life insurance. If an insurance company wants to spend the money to analyze your genome and decline coverage, then they're within their rights. Of course they could also charge you a risk-based premium, too. Or you could hope that they'd offer you a discount for a higher-quality genome.

I've always wanted to be fully informed of my health info, even if it's adverse. This genetic testing only reinforced that confirmation bias. Consider that context as you read the following paragraphs.

If you're contemplating starting a family, get your genome analyzed. Simple as that. Don't cheat yourself. $99 is a freakin' bargain. I don't give a crap if you're descended from Methusaleh and The Highlander, because you never know what other surprises you're hypothetically capable of passing on to your hypothetical kids. I understand this is a controversial stance for at least one or two posters here, and I'm not going to offer any advice on whether you'd decide to have kids (or not) as a result of the testing. I'm merely suggesting that foreknowledge allows you to prepare yourself mentally (and financially) for parenthood. And, if you're a spiritual person, for focused prayers. But of course if you're a parent then you're already praying.

In my case, I turned out to be a carrier for cystic fibrosis and hemochromatosis. Nobody on either side of my family tree, going back at least five generations, ever said a word about either of these. (They might not have even known.) Yeah, those genes are double recessive and the first is fairly apparent, but it's possible to not show the latter symptoms for years. Who knows what dark secrets are lurking in the heart of your genome (even 23andMe only analyzes a fraction), but I wouldn't be willing to take a 25%-50% risk of inflicting my carrier disease just for the sake of having descendants. Even worse, last month I learned of at least one (very distant) relative who's barely entering adulthood with CF and is currently facing a 10% copay on a $750K double-lung transplant. I suspect that their parents would've happily ponied up a lot more than $99 for genetic analysis if it had existed before they started their family. If I'd had a genetic profile before I procreated in 1992 then I would've wanted some form of fetal testing as well. I think my spouse would've concurred with that pregnancy risk, assuming she would've even proceeded to procreate with me in the first place.

23andMe confirmed that my daughter is indeed my daughter. (Or at least 85%.) But she's suspected that all of her life (and that's what her mother told her), so she's already at peace with the confirmation.

On a more serious note, I have only disclosed my Alzheimer's genetic analysis to my spouse, my daughter, and one other close friend. Based on their advice (and because you can't un-share) I'm not ready to discuss that any further. I'd rather that my writing be judged on its own merits, such as they currently are. I'll continue to write on that subject from time to time, although Bob DeMarco and his co-authors do a much better job over at the Alzheimer's Reading Room.

Break. Different subject:

I think that this wraps up my final thread. (If you disagree, please contact me to let me know what other thread needs my update.) A couple of my long-time threads (like the book and the "covering a mortgage" analysis) will continue to update on the blog. Blog posts go up on Monday/Wednesday/Thursday mornings, or you can subscribe in a RSS reader, or you can subscribe by e-mail.

I'll never say never(!), but I don't currently plan to start any more threads on this site. I've subscribed to a few threads (vBulletin might alert me if they're updated), and I may drop by occasionally to search on a keyword or to use the FAQ Archives. I've built up a pretty good reference library here over the years and I'll continue to use it as long as it's available.

I plan to do more surfing most of my writing on personal finance blogs and military sites, and eventually another book or two. I moderate the Military Family Finances forum at Dollar Stretcher. As several of you already know, I'm also occasionally active on the Mr. Money Mustache forum.

The best way to reach me is by PM or e-mail. (Or feel free to leave a blog comment!) I have a Twitter account and a Facebook page for the book and a Linkedin profile. I respond to all of them, but I'm happiest to answer questions on military personal finance-- especially if the answer leads to a blog post and could be used in a book. (I'll keep your identity anonymous because your story/advice appeals to more readers when they can't discern your service or rank.) Guest posts are certainly welcome, too, because readers respond well to personal stories and "I learned from..." advice. If you've never written a guest post before then give me a couple paragraphs and I'll take it from there.

As always, your contribution to my writing means that you get to vote on which military charities get the revenues. Mahalo.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:32 AM   #45
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Mahalo, Nords...
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:10 PM   #46
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Nords, thanks for posting this. I have always enjoyed reading your posts (long time reader, but seldom poster here). This topic is of great interest to me. When I first heard about this I thought...cool, I should do that...would love to know how much of a Neanderthal I am!

So what is stopping me? Well, a biggie is long term care insurance. My mom had Ltc insurance, paid into it for years and never had to use it (fortunately). As her executor I spent hours getting a refund of unearned premium...she had paid for the year and since the premium was so hefty it was worth the effort and time to get the refund.

Another caution with this thread is thinking about potentially unpleasant results. What if the unpleasant results point to something not preventable/treatable? I would like to think that I would deal with that rationally and use the info to manage the genetic hand that has been dealt to me.

Also, I would like for DH to consider getting tested, but I have the same concerns for him and perhaps even greater concerns. His one grandpa did end up with dementia and needed nursing home care. DH has already lived longer than his father and his other grandfather lived.

So yes, I first thought that I would do this and get some interesting ancestry info plus be told I have great longevity genes. Now I realize I need to more carefully consider potential results.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:33 PM   #47
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Thank you for everything Nords. You have contributed a great deal to this forum over the years. Best of luck with your writing "career"!
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:52 PM   #48
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Nords,
I'm sorry to see you surfing off into the sunset.

I personally got GREAT value from your experiences with guardianship of your father. Since that is something we're in process with, with my in-laws, it was very helpful to get actual experiences to at least give us a clue where to start.

Thank you so much for sharing your personal story of this.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:59 PM   #49
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:33 PM   #50
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I've not been on this site in a year, and the day I come back, the awesome Nords announces his departure? I guess I'll need to tune-in on the other sites for the wisdom I've come to expect. Thanks for all of the posts!

--Dale--
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:59 PM   #51
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Thanks for your posts, Nords! Good luck with everything!
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:25 PM   #52
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A few years ago, I searched the net for information regarding early retirement and found this site. This is the first post I read...

How do/did you prepare for ER?

Even tho I lurked for a few months, I finally became a member of this forum. Your post helped me a great deal and I have continued to learn because of you and other excellent members of this forum. My thanks goes to you.

Follow your passion.... Hope to see you soon.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:03 PM   #53
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Godspeed!

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Old 03-07-2013, 08:59 PM   #54
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Nords - you will be missed. Your posts here were definitely a major factor helping me to get comfortable with the idea of ER. You have an amazing gift for hitting the right tone - keeping things light and in perspective even when the topic is life-changing serious. I'll miss hearing how things are going with your DD as she moves into the next phase of her life as well. Hope you will come back and visit occasionally so that others can benefit from your wisdom.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:52 PM   #55
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Nords,

I've always enjoyed reading your posts. You will be missed.

Wishing you all the best going forward.

omni
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:32 AM   #56
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Even though I am neither military nor US local your posts have often made my day and helped me to prepare for ER.
Thanks so far and all the best to you + family.
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:40 AM   #57
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Took me a long time to get through it and write it up, but it's posted:
23andMe genetic testing
Great write-up on your blog! I enjoyed it. Sorry to see you go!

We are still waiting on my wife's data to come in but in the meantime I have spent a lot of time going through mine. I was a bit disappointed at the Alzheimer's Disease result showing "no data." Maybe that just means I don't have the marker for that disease, but I wish they would explain that better. Pretty much everyone in my family has heart problems so no surprise there that it was my top disease risk. I'm doing everything I can to stay fit & healthy. I also have type 2 diabetes and skin cancer in my top risks. No history of diabetes in my family that I know of, but a few cases of skin cancer. In the carrier status section none of the markers are present for anything.

Other things I found interesting is my Neanderthal content - a whopping 3.2%! Guess that comes from my heavy European DNA content. And on the bright side there's no marker for male pattern baldness, which runs contrary to my family history.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:30 AM   #58
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You will be missed, Nords. Thank you for your contribution.
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:24 AM   #59
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I have used 23andme. I purchased the kit right after they reduced their price, and I think it was worth it. The two main things I learned - that I am at an increased risk for two specific conditions - came as no surprise to me as both come with a family history.

Obgyn - to answer your question, in general I don't think this is something that should be recommended for patients for disease risk alone -- I think that the results have a high potential of being misinterpreted and the utility from them is probably low. Having said that, and given your specialty - I think that the test could be very useful for determining carrier status. This wasn't really a personal interest of mine since I won't be having kids, but I think that this would be very useful information for prospective parents if there are not cheaper options that your office could arrange.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:09 PM   #60
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going to think about this one. already know some info i don't "know." had my mom had this info she would not have had me. far too late for me & kids. hmmmm...if i had greater confidence re privacy, i'd bite already, but i won't even put up financial info here or save on fido.
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