13 Dec 2022


Heredity Versus Lifestyle: What Determines Our Health?

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Academic level: High School

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Today, many complex diseases continue to emerge among humans due to various factors including those caused by existing environmental factors and genes. New technologies, as well as scientific approaches, have continued to allow researchers to discover an increasing number of diseases associated with both genetic and lifestyle factors. In addition to searching for the most common cause of diseases among humans, researchers have discovered that new genetic variations are highly associated with developing more complex diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer and heart diseases among others. Scientists estimate that more than 10,000 of disorders are known to be genetic (Wang, 2016). 

I highly agree that among the numerous determining aspects of disease and health among every individual, the aspect of heredity cannot be altered. Millions of people across the world suffer from diseases either directly caused or accelerated genetic makeup. It is impossible for one to choose their ancestors, or even parents to choose what kind of characteristics to hand down to their children. Lipkin & Luoma (2016) further points out that we often come into this world with certain genetic features that, however much the surroundings may tend to suppress or enhance, remains part of us. Some of these potent will play a significant role in our health causing complex disorders irrespective of our lifestyles. 

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Lipkin & Luoma (2016) emphasizes that even though lifestyle continues to influence our health, it is evident that heredity is a key factor in one’s physical and mental makeup thus influencing on how one responds to the surrounding. For this reason, it is, therefore, important for one to practice crossbreeding to ensure that any defects passed on through genes do not become dominant in the family lineage. Although this is not always guaranteed, it, however, reduces the probability of some of the offspring inheriting the defect compared to theory counterparts born from inbreeding of same family members. 

In a nutshell, although healthy habits make such a significant difference for one developing the disease, in the long run, genetic disorders still poses such a high risk to someone’s health. Genes can either act as a direct cause or a predisposing factor to one acquiring a certain disease during their lifetime. Furthermore, lifestyle diseases are easy to prevent and control compared to those brought about by heredity. 


Lipkin, S. M., & Luoma, J. R. (2016). The age of genomes: Tales from the front lines of genetic medicine

Wang, X., Liu, W., Hu, Y., Zou, Z., Shen, L., & Huang, C. (2016). Home environment, lifestyles behaviors, and rhinitis in childhood. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 219, 2, 220-31. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Heredity Versus Lifestyle: What Determines Our Health?.


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