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Health Determinants
- Biology and Genetic Determinants of Risk

Genes are the fundamental biologic building blocks that determine the unique biological characteristics of individuals. The genetic make-up of an individual also determines his or her ability to cope with environmental and social health. In order to fully understand population health risks, it is essential to understand the genetic determinants of risk, and how they interact with environmental and social determinants.

There has been an explosive growth in research on the genetics determinants of human
disease during past two decades. Recent advances in genetics suggest that virtually all diseases have a genetic component. How multiple factors, often operating at different levels, are related in the causation of disease in population groups is one of the key challenges in population health risk assessment. Identification of the precise role of genetics in specific population health risk issues will not only permit a description of how genetic determinants of risk interact with environmental and social determinants, but also the identification of genetically susceptible population subgroups at which risk management strategies need to be targeted

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