Medical Dictionary: Multifactorial inheritance


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Multifactorial inheritance: Inheritance patterns based on multiple genes
Introduction: The term multifactorial inheritance typically refers to inheritance patterns of polygenic diseases, where no single gene is responsible. A multifactorial inheritance pattern is affected by multiple genes, not just a single gene as in Mendelian inheritance, and in many cases the inheritance pattern is extremely unclear. Typically for polygenic diseases, having a parent or other family relative with the disease is a risk factor that increases your risk of getting the disease, but there is no definite pattern over generations. Many of the major diseases are polygenic with family history as a risk factor, but no definite inheritance pattern.
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