Difference Between Genetic and Hereditary (With Table)

Genetic is a term that is often used interchangeably with the term hereditary due to its common features. Although both the words have their different implications. The generic disease occurs due to the abnormal changes of a person’s genome. Hereditary diseases also have some noticeable characteristics and are caused by the mutation of the gene.

Genetic vs Hereditary

The difference between genetic and hereditary is that genetic disease always has a mutational change in the genome. It can either be hereditary or not. On the other hand, hereditary diseases can be carried by the gene’s mutation from generation to generation. While genetic diseases are not always carried from one generation to another.

Genetics deals with inheritable traits passed along in the DNA molecule. A genome abnormality can cause a genetic disease. If any changes happen with our DNA structure, it can cause abnormal function of a cell. This is called a generic condition. Genetic is similar to heredity, but both have functional differences. All genetic things are not transmitted to the next generation.

Hereditary is co-related to something that is passed from one generation to another, from parents to children. It is specifically the study of the diseases that are transmitted from generation to generation. The term Hereditary is an old term that refers to specific mechanisms of biological inheritance.

Comparison Table Between Genetic and Hereditary

Parameters of Comparison  Genetic  Hereditary  
Definition  Genetic is the broad concept of biological inheritance where a genome mutation appears.  Hereditary is a concept of transforming genetic information from one generation to another.  
Generation transmission  Genetic diseases are always not transmittable from generation to generation.  Hereditary diseases pass from generation to generation.  
Disease  Diabetes, down syndrome, cancer, thalassemia, etc.  Down syndrome, spherocytosis, achondroplasia, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, etc.  
Mutational Changes  Due to abnormality of a genome condition.  Due to mutation of a gene.  
What is it  Genetics is a broader concept of theories and tools.  It is a sub-branch of genetic.  

What is Genetic?

Genetic is the scientific study of genes, heredity, and genetic variations. It is a branch of biology that studies how traits are passed from one generation to another. Not only that, but also it studies the DNA of organisms. An unusual change in the genetic makeup can cause genetic disease.

The genetic disease occurs due to an unnatural mutation of a genome, and it can either be hereditary or not. Some genetic diseases include cancer, diabetes, down syndrome and all of them are the results of a gene mutation. Moreover, the study of hereditary is known as genetics.

Our genetic materials are stored in our DNA, which is mainly the result of inheritance from our parents. Sometimes it is a particular coding that exists in our genes, but it is very important to note that all the genetic diseases or disorders are not passed to generation from generation. Moreover, genetics is a broader concept. It is completely related to our biological inheritance.

What is Hereditary?

Hereditary is the concept of a biological inheritance of the characteristics that we generally get from our parents. It is the transmission of the genetic characters from our parents to the next generation. The concept of hereditary can be described from parents to offspring.

Hereditary diseases are something that runs in the family. It usually passes from one generation to another generation. These types of diseases are caused by genetic mutations or gene mutations. Sometimes some environmental factors are responsible for these genetic mutations. Some researches show that some cancers are hereditary.

Everyone doesn’t get the diseases who inherit a gene mutation, but there is a possibility of the development. As a result, you can also get a hereditary disease that your parents never had. Diseases like sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, and Down syndrome are the effect of a gene mutation. There are some other examples of hereditary diseases such as hemophilia, Turner syndrome, albinism, galactosemia, etc.

Main Differences Between Genetic and Hereditary

  1. We can call a disease genetic when it causes a change in the genome structure. On the other hand, we can call a disease hereditary only when a genetic mutation takes place and transmits from generation to generation.
  2. Genetic is not only a concept, but it is an understanding of the tools and theories of heredity. On the other hand, hereditary is a concept that is not as broad as genetics. It is a sub-branch of genetic.
  3. Genetic is a specific term related to biological inheritance. On the other hand, hereditary is an older term and related to anything that passed from one generation to another generation.
  4. Diabetes, down syndrome, thalassemia, cystic fibrosis are some common examples of genetic disorders. On the other hand, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, etc., are some common examples of hereditary diseases.
  5. In the case of genetic disease, it doesn’t pass from one generation to another unless there is a hereditary transmittable potential. Hereditary diseases always are transmittable.


There are so many reasons for human disease. All humans inherit a complete set of genes from his or her family or parents. Family history is considered one of the most basic risk factors for some common disorders. Half of your genes come from your mother, the other half from your father, who got their genes from their parents, and so on, all the way back to your ancestors.

Hereditary is the concept of character inheritance from one generation to the next or from parent to offspring based on phenomena such as begets like, which indicates kids are similar to parents. Because of the genetic mutation that occurs in one person, If they link with someone who can carry the exact genetic mutation, then there is the possibility of full mutation of the diseases to their offspring.


  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1958-01083-000
  2. https://scholar.archive.org/work/sasatcg7bneizk2tlrr74jcgme/access/wayback/http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/canres/45/4/1437.full.pdf
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