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Conditions or traits that are caused by a combination of multiple genetic/genomic and/or environmental factors.

Use in clinical context

Most conditions and traits are influenced by multiple genetic/genomic factors combined with environmental factors. Genotype information from multiple genetic loci associated with a condition can be combined into a genetic risk score. For conditions that are influenced by multiple genetic loci, this information can provide a more accurate prediction of an individual developing the condition than genotypes at individual loci. Other conditions with multifactorial inheritance are the result of both genetic and environmental factors. For example, some people may be genetically predisposed to developing Type 2 diabetes, but the influence of environmental factors such as diet and exercise can be as important in determining who develops the disease and who does not. The genetic factors are directly inherited, but due to families often sharing lifestyles such environmental factors can also be ‘inherited’.

Last updated on 7th June, 2019