This Mail-in Genetic Testing Kit Could Save Your Life

This post is sponsored by Invitae and SHE Media.

Amidst all the concerns caused by coronavirus, please don’t forget about taking care of the rest of your body.  Here’s a sponsored post I wrote for Invitae about heart health.

It’s true. This Mail-in Genetic Testing Kit Could Save Your Life.

I’ve written before about my father passing from heart disease when he was just 41 years old. My grandfather and uncle also passed at an early age due to the same disease.

Losing my dad when I was 9 years old taught me to be conscientious of my heart health all of my life. I am hyper alert about my heart due to the fear of having the same heart issues that run in my family.

I remember once a few years back, while running a half marathon, I was breathing much heavier than usual during the race. I was convinced I had a heart condition and scheduled a stress test immediately after. The test turned out without issue, and it seemed the heavier breathing was due to my body not having acclimated to the climate difference in Chicago, having just flown in from California.

My family history of heart disease is always in the back of my mind not only about myself, but for the rest of my family. I was not aware until recently that I could get genetic testing to see if there are markers to identify whether or not I may have inherited issues with my heart.

Invitae’s Panel at the #BlogHer20 Health Conference

When I attended the #BlogHer20 Health conference, I was delighted to hear Invitae’s presentation about how Invitae, a leading medical genetics company who has performed over 1 millions tests for clinicians, now offers patients an affordable test option to understand their future health risks and help inform a comprehensive health plan.

The medical-grade tests offered by Invitae are the same tests trusted by doctors and genetic counselors around the world.

We can initiate our own genetic test and receive the same high-quality, medical tests that experts use and trust. Along with affordable testing, they connect consumers like us with trained clinicians to help interpret the results, so we can act on the health information we receive.

Until now, most genetic tests available to consumers could not be used alone for making health decisions and require a second confirmatory medical genetic test. Invitae is a medical genetic test, so you don’t need to jump through any more hoops in order to act on your results and make important health decisions.

A few facts from Invitae: 

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the U.S.
  • Inherited cardio conditions are not rare, but they are under-diagnosed. And, 20% of early heart attacks are caused by hereditary high cholesterol. 
  • Heart health isn’t always just impacted by lifestyle. Your genes might play a role too – a million people have hereditary high cholesterol and, some forms of heart disease are passed on to us but many people are not aware of these possibilities.

With these statistics, don’t you want as much information about your genetics as possible? I do!

Testing process

Step 1: Go to Invitae website and initiate your test by initiating a test. A cancer or cardio screening from Invitae is remarkably affordable at only $250 through patient-pay, with the ability to use HSA or FSA.

Step 2: An independent clinician will review your health history before approving the test order. Consumers/individuals are not placing the order themselves, as all tests require a clinician to review the individual’s health history and place the order.

Step 3: Receive testing kit in the mail and place saliva sample in the testing kit per their instructions. It was extremely easy!

Step 4: Mail the kit in the self-addressed, prepaid box back to Invitae and wait for results.

Step 5: Hear from Invitae on results.

I received an email asking me to log into my Invitae account to download my test results. I was extremely relieved when it stated very clearly on the top of the report that my test results were negative, meaning there were no heart issues detected from testing.

In addition to providing medically actionable genetic tests, patients who test through Invitae have access to a genetic counselor who can help them understand their results and make them actionable. 

An Invitae Cardio Screen looks at 77 genes to help determine your risk of developing an inherited form of cardiovascular disease. I haven’t yet spoken to a genetic counselor to help me interpret my results, but I look forward to doing so and am just relieved to know I am negative!

Understand Your Body

In order to truly understand our bodies and prepare for a healthy future, we should have a clear picture of our risk of disease. Understanding genetic risks gives us the ability to make informed decisions.

Through reliable and clinically-actionable genetic testing, Invitae is changing the future of healthcare and creating a world where genetic information is accessible and affordable for everyone.

Don’t you think you owe it to yourself those who love you to get testing yourself? What would prevent you from doing so? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. 

Order your genetics testing kit ! 

Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt. By Jen Oliak