A gene contains genetic information that is passed from a parent to their child. This determines the color of a person's hair, eyes, and skin. Genes affect a person's risk for getting some diseases. Genes also affect how people respond to medicines.
Genes are arranged on structures called chromosomes. Changes (mutations) in genes or chromosomes may be undetectable or may cause genetic diseases, such as hemophilia or sickle cell disease. Genetic problems may also increase the risk for some conditions, such as heart disease and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Current as of: November 22, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Siobhan M. Dolan MD, MPH - Reproductive Genetics & Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine