One of the key tools we have in Precision Medicine
is evaluating your family medical history. A family medical history can help us identify those of you with a higher-than-usual chance of having common disorders, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, certain cancers, and diabetes. A family history of colon cancer, for example, might indicate the need for genetic testing, which can be covered by insurance.
We have probably had conversations about your family health history when you initially signed up, or during your wellness exam. However, taking your history at the office is not ideal because you might not remember all the details. The easiest way to get information about family medical history is to talk to relatives about their health. Have they had any medical problems, and when did they occur? A family gathering is usually an ideal time to discuss these iquestions. You might also come across some interesting family lore that you had not heard before!
I am encouraging everyone to start gathering health information about your grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, siblings, and children. Information includes:
- Major medical conditions and causes of death
- Age of disease onset and age at death
- Ethnic background
We are recommending a free tool called My Family Health Portrait as the easiest way to gather your family history. You can enter your information here, and then share the information with me by using our secure patient portal.
I look forward to hearing about everyone’s history during our next visit!