23andMe Steps Out with Two New Trait Reports

Put up your feet and check out two new 23andMe trait reports that look all the way down to your toes.

Using a statistical model and data from almost half a million 23andMe research consented participants, we report a customer’s predisposition toward having bunions or flat feet. No small feat, this new set of trait reports brings the total number of trait reports to more than 30 for 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service customers.


Our Bunions report relied on data from 530,000 consented research participants. Using this data we identified 315 genetic markers associated with bunions. The condition is characterized by a sometimes painful misalignment in the joint at the base of the big toe that is often results in a bony bump.

Genetics plays a role in the condition, also known as hallux valgus. But other factors are also thought to play a role such as stepping out with ill-fitting footwear. The statistical model for the report takes into account age and sex. About 17 percent of customers who participated in research reported having had a bunion.

Flat Feet

The new report on Flat Feet stepped it up just a bit, by looking at data from 530,000 consented research participants. We identified 414 genetic markers associated with flat feet, which are characterized by low arches. The statistical model used for this report also takes into account a customer’s age and sex to report back whether they are more or less likely than average to have flat feet.

Genetics plays a role in the development of the raised structure of the foot, known as the medial arch. For some, that raised arch never fully develops or the arch may collapse later in life, possibly related  to injury or obesity. This in turn can lead to misalignment of the bones of the foot and foot pain. About a quarter of 23andMe research participants reported having flat feet.

23andMe Health +Ancestry Service customers can stroll over to see these two new reports by visiting their Traits dashboard.

Not yet a customer? Hoof it over here and learn more.