Creating a Family Health History

Frequently Asked Questions

4. What is a heritable disease?

A heritable disease is caused by a mutation, or harmful change, in a gene inherited from a parent. Genes are small structures in your body's cells that determine how you look and tell your body how to work. Examples of heritable diseases are Huntington's disease, sickle cell anemia, and muscular dystrophy. Most diseases that run in the family are not strictly genetic.

Learn basic information about chromosomes.

Learn basic information about DNA.