Not Knowing Your Family Health History Makes It Harder to Manage Yours
Your family health history can help you better understand your own health and take extra measures to reduce health risks that run in your family. For example, if breast cancer runs in your family, you might need to start screening earlier than other women. If several family members have heart disease, you may be advised to alter your diet and exercise routine to reduce your risk. Your family health history includes health information from your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings, and cousins.
You’ll want to know what health conditions they have or had, especially those that may have a genetic component, and when they were diagnosed. For those who are deceased, you also need to know when and how they died and what other factors, such as smoking, might have played a role in the illnesses or death. Don’t worry if you can’t gather all of this information. Even an incomplete health history is better than none.