The Environment and Human Health
Combination of Factors Can Lead to Disease
Almost all diseases result from a complex interaction between an individual’s genetic make-up and environmental agents. Subtle genetic differences can cause people to respond differently to the same environmental exposure. This explains why some individuals have a fairly low risk of developing a disease after being exposed to a given environmental toxin/agent, while others are much more vulnerable.
The dose and timing of exposure also are important. Sometimes, diseases that are linked to the environment may take many years to develop after the time or times of exposure. Lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise and maintaining an appropriate body weight, also may influence one’s susceptibility to disease.
- National Institutes of Environmental Health Science. Gene-environment interaction. Retrieved 11-05-2010, from http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/science/gene-env/index.cfm.
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Grant Number: R25ES010698-07S1