Simple lifestyle choices, such as following a healthy diet and regular exercise, can override bad genes, according to one of Canada's leading genetic researchers.
Robert Hegele, director of the cardiovascular genetics laboratory at the Robarts Research Institute in London, Ontario, linked simple decisions and socioeconomic determinants to genetics.
The classic choices included staying away from cigarettes, alcohol, eating a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
Much complicated matters like a person's income, education, housing status and physical environment were also said to play a significant role.
"Environment often trumps genetics. Even if you've been dealt a bad hand of genes, it's not a life sentence for most people," The Globe and Mail quoted Hegele as telling delegates to the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Edmonton.
The researcher added: "While genetic testing is increasingly providing valuable information, clinicians and patients themselves already have the tools to act.
"No matter what all the high-tech stuff reveals, the answers are still simple for most people."