It’s in your genes: things you didn’t know were genetic

It’s well known that risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer can be passed down from parents to their kids, but what about some other health conditions?

You have their eyes, smile and even their mannerisms, but what other things can be passed down from your parents?

“If you have had a mom and a sister with an aneurysm, so two first degree relatives with an aneurysm, you just doubled your odds of having an aneurysm,” Ricardo Hanel, MD, and neurosurgeon said.

An aneurysm is a silent ticking time bomb that typically does not present any symptoms until it’s too late.

“Even for those that get to the hospital. Many of those don’t survive,” Hanel said.

That’s why doctors are looking at family history to find ways to provide low-cost screening for those at high risk.

Another condition that could be passed down is celiac disease. People with a first-degree relative with the disease have a one in ten risk of getting it.

Colon polyps are another thing that can be passed down. These polyps can increase your risk for colorectal cancer. One in three people who have colorectal cancer knows a family member who had it, according to the American Cancer Society.

The recommended age to start screenings for colorectal cancer is 50, but if you have a family history of colon polyps or colorectal cancer you may want to start your screening earlier.

Depression may also be in your genes. If you have two or more people on the same side of your family with it, your risk increases.

But just because a condition is in your genes does not mean you are doomed to get it.

In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, those who are high-risk of getting heart disease were able to cut their risk by 50 percent following healthy habits, such as not smoking, exercising and eating a healthy diet.