Nov 24, 2014
By: RADM Boris D. Lushniak, MD, MPH, Acting U.S. Surgeon General
Each year on Thanksgiving, which coincides with National Family Health History Day, I encourage everyone to focus on the importance of family health history through the Office of the Surgeon General’s Family Health History Initiative.
Why is it important to discuss your family’s health history? Diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease often run in families. Tracing the illnesses of your parents, grandparents, and other blood relatives can help your healthcare practitioner predict your risk for specific diseases and make vital screening and treatment decisions before any disease is evident.
With our online tool, My Family Health Portrait, you can gather together with your family and record your family health history. The tool is a great resource to use before going to medical appointments so you have your health history to discuss with your healthcare practitioner. In addition, the tool allows users to save their family history information to their own computer and share health history information with other family members.