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Genetic and Environmental Factors in Health-related Behaviors: Studies on Finnish Twins and Twin Families

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2012

Jaakko Kaprio*
University of Helsinki and National Public Health Institute, Helsinki,
Lea Pulkkinen
University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
Richard J. Rose
Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana and University of Helsinki, Finland
*Address for correspondence: Jaakko Kaprio, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology, Dept. of Public Health, University of Helsinki, PO Box 41FIN-00014 Helsinki, Finland.


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Family, twin and adoption studies have provided evidence for familial and genetic influences on individual differences in disease risk and in human behavior. Attempts to identify individual genes accounting for these differences have not been outstandingly successful to date, and at best, known genes account for only a fraction of the familiality of most traits or diseases. More detailed knowledge of the dynamics of gene action and of specific environmental conditions are needed. Twin and twin-family studies with multiple measurements of risk factors and morbidity over time can permit a much more detailed assessment of the developmental dynamics of disease risk and the unfolding of behavioral risk factors.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2002