Medical Minute: Genetic testing

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Type 2 diabetes is one of today's most pressing health challenges.

Courtesy: First Line Media

More than 100 million Americans are affected by diabetes or pre-diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"If there was ever a disease that touched every family, every community, every ethnicity in this country, diabetes would be one," said Dr. Clive Fields, chief medical officer of VillageMD.

But it is possible to delay and even prevent the condition with early diagnosis and lifestyle management.

"Knowing your risk factors, whether it be cholesterol or sugar, blood pressure, weight or BMI, this is another tool in the tool box. Knowing what you are genetically predisposed to," said Fields.

Genetic testing can now help make people more aware of their overall physical health.

"You know, we're all 99 percent genetically identical, but it's those little differences that lead to all the different differences we see and how we are, as well as different likihoods of developing health conditions," said Shirley Wu, 23&Me director of health product.

Technological advances are allowing for breakthroughs in this kind of testing.

"We're now able to identify what these different genetic identities are and with our genetic testing we can now provide that information directly to consumers so they can be more empowered and engaged in their own health," said Wu.

If you're interested in this type of genetic testing you can talk with your primary care physician.