Genetics and Common Diseases

Uploaded by videojumpusa on 11.09.2012

[violin music]
Karen Powell: Now, I'm going to focus a little bit on the diseases
that we can see in adults.
These are considered to be common,
complex diseases.
All of these disease do have to --
you can get them on a sporadic basis,
but also these can be inherited genetic conditions.
And we know that they're common.
Just to tell us how common it is in 2006,
the New York Times listed the top ten causes of death and the top six
are all common diseases.
And so,
looking at our family history really provides us some genetic clues
on who's going to be at risk
for getting certain genetic conditions and who may not be.
Like people in the U.S., 57%, or a little over half of us,
do not have a family history,
or do not have a significant family history of any genetic condition.
About 1/3 of us have one condition that does run in our family;
about 8% have two conditions that run in the family;
and 2% of us have three disorders that run in the family.
So that means that 43% of individuals in the U.S.
have a family history of at least one disorder,
one common disorder.
So, what causes a common disease?

A combination of the lifestyle behaviors, environment and genetics.
And the thing about family history is that families all share our genes,
our environment,
and our lifestyle behaviors.
That is one of the main reasons
is why we are encouraging people
to really take a good look at your family health history,
and document this information because,
if these three things are things that families share,
and these are the three things that go into causing common diseases,
you can kind of see that-- that connection.
One of the best risk reducing strategies that we have at this time
is really becoming acquainted with your family tree.
Simply because by learning what diseases do run in your family,
there are things that you can do to change them.
Such as exercising more,
stop smoking,
eat a better diet
that certainly can help decrease your overall risk for disease,
even if your genetic risk is relatively high.