We now know that an individual's health, response to environmental and lifestyle factors, susceptibility to diseases/syndromes and response to medications/therapies are greatly affected, and in some cases determined, by their own unique genetic profile. Many of the genetic variations (DNA sequence alterations) that contribute to this have been identified in recent years, and new genetic determinants are continuously being discovered. This genetic information is increasing at an exponential rate, and will serve as the basis for personalized medicine in the future. "Personalized medicine" refers to managing an individual's health, exposure to environmental and lifestyle variables, disease prevention and effective use of medications based on information in that individual's genome. In the 2015 U.S. State of the Union Address, President Obama announced creation of the Precision Medicine Initiative, which provides an initial $215 million in research funding to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
In addition to leading to the new era of personalized medicine, advances in genomics are revealing a wealth of genetic information that is relevant to other aspects of our lives. These include genetic effects on an individual's performance in a variety of activities and how we respond to common environmental exposures, including foods and drinks we consume. These types of genetic tests are described in the Inherited Traits and Lifestyle categories of our Genetic Tests section.