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National Family Health History Day (Nov. 28)

11/25/2019

National Family Health History Day (Nov. 28)


What if your family health history is bad news?

If a family health history exposes a serious problem you didn’t know existed, don’t panic, advises the U.S. Surgeon General. Fill out the computer or printed form as completely as possible and take it to your doctor.

Your doctor can help you understand the information and what it means to you and your family. Then, your doctor can help you take effective steps to reduce your risk.

“Pursuing the illnesses suffered by your parents, grandparents and other relatives can help your doctor foresee the disorders to which you may be at compromise and deal with it to keep your family and you healthy,” according to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Family Health History Initiative.

Healthcare is in a tsunami of advances in screenings, technology, medications and procedures which provide doctors with increasingly advanced tools to address medical challenges. Early diagnoses allow doctors to reduce risks and treat patients before a crisis.

Just having the information can provide doctors the opportunity to fully explain to an individual patient what’s at stake and what can be done to cut the health risk.

“Most human diseases, especially common diseases such as heart disease, result from the interaction of genes with environmental and behavioral risk factors that can be changed.”

“The best disease prevention strategy for anyone, especially for someone with a family history, includes reducing risky behaviors (such as smoking) and increasing healthy behaviors such as regular exercise.”

“There are also rare inherited cardiovascular diseases that can cause heart disease regardless of lifestyle or other risk factors.”

“If the family history has findings such as multiple individuals with heart attacks or sudden death at a young age, it should prompt your doctor to consider and test for these rare conditions, as even family members without symptoms can often benefit from early diagnosis and treatment with risk-reducing medications.”

National Family Health History Day, celebrated this year on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28,2019

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