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updated: July 14, 2024


Susceptibility, as related to genetics, refers to the state of being predisposed to, or sensitive to, developing a certain disease. An individual’s disease susceptibility is influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.


Susceptibility. On the most fundamental level, susceptibility helps communicate the risk of developing a disease. This risk emerges at the intersection of our genetic makeup and our environment. On the one hand, unique differences in DNA can increase or decrease our risk of developing a disease. On the other hand, our environment also matters. The quality of food, the air we breathe, the water we drink, can also increase or decrease the chance of developing a disease. Disease's susceptibility then helps combine these two elements of risk into one concept.

Oleg Shchelochkov
Oleg A. Shchelochkov, M.D.


Medical Genetics and Genomic Medicine Training Program