Announcing Color’s Hereditary High Cholesterol Test

Are you familiar with Familial Hypercholesterolemia? Neither are most people, and that’s a big problem. Today, here at Color, we’re happy to be taking a big step toward addressing that.

As medical costs soar[1], the healthcare world is undergoing a transformation from reactive treatment to preventive care. At Color we’re building a preventive health service which helps people learn their genetic risk in important health areas like heart health and cancer — and use that knowledge to be more proactive about staying healthy, which could save their families (and our entire healthcare system) lots of money.

Today represents an important step towards that mission, as we’re releasing the Color Hereditary High Cholesterol Test. This physician-ordered test tells people whether they have genetic mutations known to cause most cases of Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH), a hereditary condition that causes high cholesterol levels that can lead to coronary heart disease. 1 in 50 people with high cholesterol are born with FH[2], and the condition is severe: people with high cholesterol and FH are 22 times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than those with normal cholesterol and no FH.[3]

The problem is that more than 90% of people who have FH in the US don’t know that they have it[3]. The solution is knowledge of the data within your own body. Learning from the Color test that you have a genetic mutation that can cause FH can enable you to work with your doctor towards the goal of reducing your risk of coronary heart disease, which is what preventive care is all about.

Today, Color helps people understand their risk for hereditary cancer and hereditary high cholesterol. Later this year we’ll be releasing additional actionable genetic tests and services to help Color clients and their families stay healthy. We’re grateful to our partners — the FH Foundation, University of California, San Francisco, Morehouse School of Medicine, and more — who have joined us in this movement to make healthcare more personal, preventive, and powerful.

Footnotes:

[1] PwC Health Research Institute, “Medical cost trend: Behind the numbers 2018”, June 2017, https://www.pwc.com/us/en/health-industries/health-research-institute/behind-the-numbers/reports/hri-behind-the-numbers-2018.pdf

[2] Nordestgaard BG, Chapman MJ, Humphries SE, et al. Familial hypercholesterolaemia is underdiagnosed and undertreated in the general population: guidance for clinicians to prevent coronary heart disease: consensus statement of the European Atherosclerosis Society. Eur Heart J. 2013;34(45):3478–90a.

[3] Khera A, Won H, Peloso G, , et al. Diagnostic Yield and Clinical Utility of Sequencing Familial Hypercholesterolemia Genes in Patients With Severe Hypercholesterolemia. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. June 2016; 67(22):2578–89. Pubmed Abstract

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