Environment may influence diseases more than genetic codes

The unsatisfying answer to the debate over whether genes or environment are more important may simply be that both matter, and the contributions of each will vary depending on the disease.
The unsatisfying answer to the debate over whether genes or environment are more important may simply be that both matter, and the contributions of each will vary depending on the disease.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON • For years, public health experts have been arguing that where people live matters crucially to their health and life span, even though factors such as genetics or access to health insurance typically get more attention.

Health systems and governments have embarked on massive projects to decode people's DNA, in the hopes that the information will lead to a new era of tailored treatments and personalised prevention.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 04, 2019, with the headline 'Environment may influence diseases more than genetic codes'. Print Edition | Subscribe