Family health history is the record of your family members’ health conditions and diseases. Many diseases are hereditary and can be passed on through your genes. Other diseases may be a result of factors, such as certain eating and exercising behaviors, or a result of environmental factors. If you share similar behaviors or live in the same environment, it can affect your health.
Being aware of your family health history is important and sharing it with your doctor can provide him or her with a full picture of your health and risk factors. Together you can create a plan to reduce your risks and live a healthier life.
If you have a family health history of a chronic disease like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or osteoporosis, you are more likely to get that disease yourself. Share your family health history with your doctor, who can help you take steps to prevent disease and catch it early if it develops.
Even if you don’t know all of your family health history information, share what you do know. Even if the information is incomplete it will help your doctor determine a course of action.
Implementing healthy living habits can reduce your risk for diseases that run in your family. And there are screening tests that can help detect early signs of disease. Your doctor can help you find those early signs and implement changes for a healthier life.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Visit www.cdc.gov/genomics/famhistory/index.htm for more information.
Sponsored by Berks Community Health Center