Creating a Family Health History

Frequently Asked Questions

4. What is a genetic disease?

A genetic 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 genetic diseases are Huntington's disease, sickle cell anemia, and muscular dystrophy. Most diseases that run in the family are not strictly genetic.