Genes determine your risk for disease, but they're not a death sentence
Your genes are one of many factors that contribute to developing certain diseases. Yes, Huntington's disease counters that notion - if you have a gene variant, you are pretty much guaranteed to have it - but for the most part, we have the ability to control our own destiny in a positive or negative way.
For instance, if we take a look at the risk factors that affect our chances of developing coronary heart disease, we see that in addition to genetics, factors like stress, obesity, smoking, and air pollution contribute to its development.
For those with the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene variant, there is a 16% higher risk of developing coronary heart disease. Yet, for those who smoke, the risk rises to 24%. Likewise, for those who are obese, the risk soars to 69% from the original baseline.
Check out the full infographic from Mosaic below.
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