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Table 1 Characteristics of multifactorial disorders

From: The genetics of rheumatoid arthritis and the need for animal models to find and understand the underlying genes

Characteristics Description
Multifactorial influence Contribution of genetic as well as environmental factors to disease development
Phenotypic heterogeneity Large variety in clinical phenotypes within a syndrome
Polygenicity The effect of many genes that contribute to a disease
Genetic heterogeneity Different genes, or even different alleles of the same gene, may contribute to development of the same phenotype
Variable disease onset The onset of the disease may vary between individuals, onset often late in life