How Is Genetics Related to Health?

Genetics helps explain what makes you unique, why family members look alike, and why some diseases run in families. Taking time to learn about it will help you understand your own health and make healthy choices.

Importance of Family Health History

Your family health history tells more than just what diseases run in your family. It includes information about where your family has lived and what kind of work and activities they do. Your healthcare provider can help you understand your risk for a certain disease based on your family health history.

Health Effects of Genes and Environment

Most common diseases are a result of both your genes and your environment.  Your environment can include personal choices, such as what foods you eat and how much you exercise, and external factors, such as stress, clean water, and air quality.  Only a small number of diseases, also called Mendelian diseases, are the result of just a single mutation in a gene.