Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Best Explanation for the Trivial Effect of Hereditary Factors on Disease

World War I Russian infantry.
Image via Wikipedia
I just read the best explanation for the fruitlessness of the excessive focus on hereditary and genetic factors in disease. The book is the saccharine disease by T.L. Cleave (1975). You can download a copy of the book from here. The explanation I am pointing to is on pages 9 and 10 in this downloaded copy and pages 3 and 4 in the printed book.
Consider the infantry assault against enemy entrenchments in the First World War of 1914-1918. In that war it was found, as would be expected, that during these assaults tall men were shot down by machine gunners considerably more often than sort men were.
Being taller is a hereditary factor that has many advantages but not with infiltrating solders in First World War. More, we would not care if this tall solder's father died in a similar situation. We need to focus on the true causes of disease, the factors that interact with our make-up and results in disease. Focusing or hereditary factors distract us.
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2 comments:

  1. As someones who practices family medicine in Anchorage, AK, what would you say about diseases like cancer that tend to go down family lines?

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  2. I am not denying the effect of genetics. I am giving genetics the backseat. Epigenetics proves this, as things as diet controls the expression of genes.

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