You are viewing Stephanie Grossman's 23andMe Traits report.

Mosquito Bite Frequency

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Stephanie, based on your genetics and other factors, you are likely to get more mosquito bites than others.

Some people may feel like they get more mosquito bites than the people around them. So what makes some people more attractive to mosquitoes than others? Genetics may be partly to blame.

Of people with results like yours:

16% report fewer mosquito bites than others.

29% report about the same number of mosquito bites as others.

55% report more mosquito bites than others.

One-sided attraction

Female mosquitoes have a complex olfactory system that lets them sniff out their food. As it turns out, mosquitoes have preferences! Mosquitoes are attracted to certain molecules in body odor and breath and depending on the proportions of these molecules, some people may appear more delicious than others. But keep in mind that anyone can get bitten by mosquitoes, which can carry disease. So to deter those itchy intruders, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend using mosquito repellent, wearing protective clothing, and staying indoors during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
Scientific Details
For this analysis, we used survey responses and genetic data from more than 380,000 23andMe research participants of European descent. We identified 285 genetic markers that were associated with mosquito bite frequency, bite itchiness, or bite size. We used these markers together with non-genetic factors, specifically age and sex, to create a statistical model that predicts whether you would say you get bitten more or less often than people around you. The model was further recalibrated to be more accurate when applied to people of African American, Hispanic or Latino, East Asian, Middle Eastern, and Ashkenazi Jewish descent using data from more than 420,000 23andMe research participants. The full statistical model used to calculate your result (which includes genetics, age, and sex) has an R2 value of 6%. For comparison, models including genetics alone or demographics alone (age and sex) have R2 values of 2% and 4%, respectively.

Keep in mind that these results from 23andMe research are preliminary and are meant for informational purposes only.

Do you tend to get more mosquito bites than the people around you?

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