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Genetic Susceptibility

  1. Carol Emslie,
  2. Kate Hunt

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0005639



How to Cite

Emslie, C. and Hunt, K. 2006. Genetic Susceptibility. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. MRC Social & Public Health Sciences Unit, Glasgow, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Genetic susceptibility is the presence of inherited genetic factors in an individual that confer increased risk for a particular disease, but do not, by themselves, cause the disease. Therefore, genetic susceptibility is only one component in the etiology of common diseases such as coronary heart disease. The risk of passing on common diseases to offspring is difficult to predict because of complex interactions between different genes, and between behavioral, environmental and genetic factors.


  • lay beliefs;
  • family history;
  • predictive genetic testing