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Conditions or traits that are caused by a combination of multiple genetic variants.

Use in clinical context

Most conditions and traits are influenced by multiple genetic factors combined with environmental factors, this is multifactorial inheritance. The genotype aspect of this is referred to as polygenic. Polygenic traits are influenced by multiple genetic loci and so do not have the (relatively) clear inheritance patterns of single gene conditions. Genotype information from multiple genetic loci associated with a condition can be combined into a genetic risk score. For polygenic conditions this can provide more accurate information about the chance of an individual developing the condition than genotypes at individual loci.

Last updated on 7th June, 2019