British Lung Foundation
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Are some of us pre-disposed to ill-health?

Wide ranging question, I know. But it's one that crops up in my mind from time to time.

I was born with an extra finger (skin only really, no bone), and a hole in my soft pallett. At 7 years old I had an operation to have that hole sewn up. I had speech therapy afterwards, along with specialist help because I had lack of co-ordination. I was treated at a place called the Wolfgang Center in London (although I think it's since closed down as there's no record of it on Google now!)

I had eczema and asthma in childhood, and whilst the eczema went, the asthma remained.

All these things and more have me wondering from time to time, are some of us pre-disposed to ill-health?

10 Replies

Sorry to read about your health issues such early age AM sure some was gantec caused by triggers.

Looks like that is way gentics research is going pointing us to.

This loads of examples of how parents and stuff we do dangerous occupations can influence our and our kids dna and there only ones we know about.

What about all others and what our mum dads was exposed to.

I can guess given heavy industry lot more than we are now.

Could say its like i chain evolution and not as much as longevity BUT thats me being dieased and cynical BUT i do belive dna research holds ALL answers and keys


You are right Symes some of us would be predisposed to illness, mostly due to inherited genetics. Eczema & asthma come from the same genetic, predisposition to gout and arthritis runs in families possibly due to genetics we now know. Breast cancer is another one that can be due to certain genetics. But all though we may inherited certain genes does not mean we wiil develop the said illnesses. But does give us the predisposition you talk about.


Mmm Symes its a ponderable isn't it? No answer I'm afraid but it makes you think. Xx

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You've got a lot going on, Symes. We can sometimes wonder what we did wrong, while others sail through without a problem. I've got no answers either but hope you're feeling well, or at least better, at the moment.

Sue x

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I think my husband has always considered me to be a bit of a hypochondriac as my medical file is so thick! However, all visits to the doctor have been necessary and he knows that now as I encourage him to come with me since we are both retired. He, on the other hand, is - thank God - as fit as a flea and has only been to the doctor himself about half a dozen times in our married life of 46 years! Lucky man must have great genes - his sister is the same.

Unfortunately, my brother and I both seem to have drawn the short straw. After a very active and apparently healthy life, my brother got Lewy Body Dementia and subsequently died at the age of 68. I now have asthma, COPD and Bronchiectasis. Our parents died aged 66 and 68. I suspect that heavy smoking and poor diet were factors in their demise.

But then, my maternal grandmother lived to 86 and my mother's sister lived to 102, so where's the genetic link there?

I don't know how any of these things may or may not be connected but, like you, I often ponder whether some of us just start off with a predisposition to be less fit than our peers.

I wasn't diagnosed with asthma until about ten years ago, but now I realise I must have had it all my life. I wasn't really a wimp when it came to games - I just couldn't breath when I ran! No one ever thought about asthma then unless you were having a full blown attack. Kids didn't walk around with inhalers - they went to special schools and were 'delicate'. I was deemed to be 'delicate' for other reasons - I had St Vitus Dance and also had tonsilitis regularly until I eventually had my tonsils out in my teens. My mother always claimed I had a weak heart and stopped me doing lots of things eg I was only allowed to play with one friend at a time in case I got too excited! Yes, really!

Well despite all that nonsense, I've led a full and active life, had children and grandchildren and a good career in social work so it hasn't held me back - until now when my chickens seem to all be coming home to roost at the same time.

One of my friends announced the other day that she thinks I just have bad luck and seem to get everything that's going. This is the same friend who, knowing my lung problems, turned up to stay at my home with the most awful chest infection which she passed on to me! Bad luck? Maybe! Thoughtless friend? Definitely!

Well, you've given me food for thought on this Sunday morning. I shall ponder on while I go about my day and pop back to see what others have to say on the matter.

All the best



I read an article some time ago, which said the descendants of country people were healthier and lived longer than those descended from people who lived in heavy industrial areas.

Didn't work for my husband, he was fit as a fiddle once he outgrew his childhood chest problems, he had a mild heart attack aged 39 caused by familial hyerlipdemia type IV.

Later he got high blood pressure. He had pills for the high blood pressure and cholesterel lowering drugs. Then he died of cancer at the age of 69.

He came from a long line of country people. His grandmother was a lace maker. His mother was very fit and lived to be 86. His father died at 65 of a heart attack.


This is very interesting.

It is my feeling that environment plays a major role in disease devlopment.

My paternal grandparents lived on farms from childhood and lived healthily to 95 for grandfather and grandmother is still going at 103!

My father developed colon cancer which metastised into his lungs, he passed last year at 81, 40 years after stopping smoking.

He worked in auto body repair and the atmosphere in that job coulkd be dusty and used a lot of VOCs.

I think it was his working life that allowed his lungs to become diseased.

It is a subject worth looking into.

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I was born with a bad stomach problem , there is also lots of asthma and except in my family and out of a family of four children , I'm the youngest ,only one has good health .and he was in the army and SAS . I have never known him I'll , whilst to the others one has died at age 57 and two left with very poor health . Through my brother and myself his children suffer with stomach problems . I have so many things wrong besides fibro , copd although I have never smoked , leaky gut , IBS and lots of other things won't bore you with that here .


That should read excema and I forgot to say I have had bad health since I was born , one way and another . We were brought up in country and villages . 😇


You could be right. My first husband - father to my Daughter, had two sisters - they and I all had our babies in 1961. Two had a problem - one boy suffered badly with eczema from birth and asthma into adulthood, one girl had really bad asthma also from birth and died young, and my daughter developed infantile eczema at age three which turned to bronchial asthma at 5 and which she grew out of at 14 thank goodness, but it weakened her heart and she contracted cardiomyopathy during her pregnancy with my Grandson - he has no health problems. No-one in my fairly large family has any genetic illnesses that we can trace - my daughter is the only one that has I presume carried the gene from my first husband's family, in which there is a lot of asthma. Sorry this is a bit of a ramble, and I find your question very interesting.

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