Why is it important for you to know your family’s medical history?
We all know that Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful for the wonderful family members in our lives. It’s also a time to ask them about their medical history.
A recent survey by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services determined that 95% of Americans know family medical history is an important part of maintaining personal health, while only 1/3 of Americans have ever tried to gather and record this information. Because of this, Thanksgiving Day has been officially declared Family Health History Day by the Surgeon General to encourage people to seek this information.
Why is it important to know the medical history of your family? Because you share the same genes, lifestyle and environment! If a medical professional is able to address patterns of certain disorders in your family history, this can help to detect or prevent medical problems you may have a disposition to develop. Family medical history screenings can help to prevent the onset of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers. With this information, you can make small changes that would make huge differences in the future of your health.
My Family Health Portrait is a free tool that the Surgeon General developed to help you graph your family’s history. Simply answer a few questions, and My Family Health Portrait will give you an easy-to-navigate summary of your risks. You can then share this information with your loved ones to help them stay healthy.
Visit https://familyhistory.hhs.gov/ this Thanksgiving and take control of your health.