DNA health kits for Christmas: Are you giving the gift of worry?

KUTV producer Adam Forgie's DNA test (Photo: Adam Forgie)

(KUTV) - It's one of the hot holiday gifts of the season, but you may be giving your loved ones the gift of worry.

Millions have bought DNA kits from companies like Ancestry.com or 23andme.com. If this gift will be under your tree come Christmas time, specifically the health DNA ones, you'll want to make sure your loved one knows what they are signed up for.

For those buy from 23andMe they have the option to buy the health DNA component so not only can a person find out about their ancestry, they can find out about their genetic health, Amanda Gammon has been a Genetic Counselor at the Huntsman cancer institute for 10 years, “We have more and more of our patients come who already have done some type of DNA testing.” She said hearing these kits as one Amazons best sellers for gifts she's hoping people are ready for what will happen when results come in, “It really can be complex information.”

Ancestry.com reported over the Black Friday weekend it sold about 1.5 million of its kits, “We don’t expect that it’s going to be going away at all so we just want to help educate individuals doing this,” Gammon said. While the ancestry part can be fun learning about your heritage, Hearing about possible Alzheimer’s, heart disease, breast cancer can be scary, “That can be a lot more than people are bargaining for a present. They are wanting to give their relative the gift of wanting to know more about themselves at the same time it can cause a lot of anxiety,” Gammon said.

Gammon said it may not be as bad as it seems and it can also be a good educational tool for people to change their habits to be healthier, “Not panic at the onset, that this can be a jumping off point for them to have more conversations with their doctors,” she said.

For more information on the genetic counseling at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, you can click here.

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