Family History

Health: A Family Affair

Picture Your HealthGrandmother and granddaughter

Your mother’s high blood pressure or your grandfather’s diabetes may worry you sometimes—with good reason. Not only is their health at risk, yours may be too. The fact is that you have an increased risk of developing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, certain kinds of cancer, or other conditions if someone in your family has had them.

Just because your family may have a history of a certain condition, it does not mean your fate is sealed. What it does mean is that you need to know which health problems run in your family so you can make smart choices that may change the outcome for yourself. You have the power to take your health into your own hands! Prevent repeating history in the following ways:

  • Ask questions. A family gathering is the perfect opportunity to learn more about your family’s health history
  • Tell your doctor your family’s health history—even if he or she doesn’t ask
  • Keep a written record of your family’s health history so the information is always available
  • Find out which tests and screenings are recommended to track the conditions that run in your family

The healthy habits you develop for preventing disease could influence and benefit your whole family and future generations. Learn your history to power your future!

Family TreeLinks

These sites offer tools to help you start a conversation and build your family’s health history: