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Helix, AdventHealth Partner on Genetic Screening Study

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – AdventHealth Orlando, a faith-based nonprofit health care system, and consumer genomics company Helix have partnered on a genetic screening study for familial hypercholesterolemia, a condition that causes high cholesterol and can lead to cardiovascular disease.

The WholeMe study aims to enroll 10,000 individuals in Florida. Helix will conduct exome sequencing and results related to familial hypercholesterolemia will be returned to patients. Participants can also learn about traits such as lactose and gluten tolerance and their magnesium and calcium levels. The study researchers will begin recruiting participants in July.

"We believe personalized medicine that focuses on the whole person is superior health care," Daryl Tol, president and CEO of AdventHealth's Central Florida Division, said in a statement.

The goal of the study is to see how the genomic information impacts individuals' personal health decisions as well as for researchers at AdventHealth to learn how to best integrate genomic information into healthcare.

The WholeMe study is one part of the AdventHealth Genomics & Personalized Health program, which aims to eventually provide comprehensive genomic testing and genetic counseling to patients.

Helix is also a partner in the Healthy Nevada Project, which aims to identify individuals at risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, familial hypercholesterolemia, and Lynch syndrome. Earlier this month, researchers reported that they had identified 290 individuals out of 23,500 screened who were at risk for one of the three conditions, the majority of whom would have been missed by current screening guidelines.