Family History of Disease So You Need To More Careful

unduhan-50Your family history of disease is your family medical tree. If you have a close relative with diabetes, your own diabetes risk may go up. Heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure also tend to run in families, and some hereditary diseases can be passed down from parent to child through a defective gene.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, although most people realize that knowing their family history of disease is important, only about one-third of Americans have gathered and recorded their family’s health history.

9 Surprising Things That Can Make You Sick

“Some examples of why family history is important and how doctors use it are colon and breast cancer,” says Elizabeth Lo, MD, a family care physician at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass. “Someone with a strong family history of breast or colon cancer may be screened earlier and more frequently for these diseases.”

A family history of disease may be used to:

  • Determine your risk for certain diseases
  • Start early treatment or prevention for diseases that run in your family
  • Determine whether you should get certain genetic tests for hereditary diseases
  • Let you know if you are at risk for passing a disease to your children

“Family disease history may indicate the need for genetic testing and counseling,” says Dr. Lo. “A woman with a family history of breast cancer may be tested for certain genes that help doctors predict breast cancer risk and the best treatment.”

Creating Your Family Medical Tree

The National Institutes of Health recommends getting a family history of disease going back at least three generations. You should include your grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, and cousins on both sides of your family. If you have children, include them, too.

“It is important to go back a few generations on both sides of the family because a young parent or even a young grandparent may not be old enough to have developed a potentially hereditary disease such as cancer or dementia yet,” explains Lo.

Your family historyof disease is influenced by a lot more than genes that may transmit hereditary diseases. Families also share other important factors such as lifestyles, diet, and environmental exposures that can cause a disease to run in your family. Common diseases to look for and chart include:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Dementia
  • Mental illness
  • Osteoporosis

Some less common hereditary diseases include sickle-cell anemia, hemophilia, and cystic fibrosis.