Does it run in the family?
November 26, 2019
We’ve all heard the term “family health history,” but what does that really mean, and why is it important? A family health history is a record of health information about an individual and their relatives. A complete record has information from three generations, including children, siblings, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents and nieces and nephews.
Knowing your family history is one of the strongest factors in understanding your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes. This can help you determine what tests and screenings are best for you, which can help catch and treat disease early.
To collect your family health history, talk to your family. Write down the names of relatives on both sides of your family, and talk to them about what conditions they have, and when they were diagnosed. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, the more information you have, the better. Record any information you get, and update it when you learn new family health history information. If you have concerns, share your family health history with your doctor and other family members.
Knowing your family health history can help you to be more proactive about your health. Talk to your doctor if you need more help figuring out how to discover your family health history. This will allow them to suggest lifestyle choices and screenings that can help reduce your risk of illness or disease.