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David Morgan
575-528-5197 Office
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Take Time This Thanksgiving to Learn Your Family Health History

November 24, 2014 - Public Relations - Awareness

Using My Family Health Portrait you can enter your family health history, learn about your risk for conditions that can run in families, print your family health history to share with family or your health care provider and save your family health history so you can update it over time.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. That means you’re probably home for the holiday and spending time with family. Maybe you’ll be watching a parade or a football game; maybe you’ll do some evening shopping.

Just maybe you can take the opportunity with your family… to talk. The holiday season offers many opportunities for your family to share everything from a meal to your family health history.

Since 2004, the US Surgeon General has declared Thanksgiving to be National Family Health History Day. Over the holiday or at other times when families gather, the Surgeon General encourages Americans to talk about, and to write down, the health problems that seem to run in their family.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, health care professionals have known for a long time that common diseases - heart disease, cancer, and diabetes - and rare diseases - like hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, and sickle cell anemia - can run in families.

You’ve probably already seen this in your own family: if your grandparents had high blood pressure, it is not unusual for your parents’ generation to have similarly high blood pressure. It could mean you have it too.

Tracing the illnesses suffered by your parents, grandparents, and other blood relatives can help your doctor predict the disorders to which you may be at risk and take action to keep you and your family healthy.

The Surgeon General's My Family Health Portrait is a free web-based tool that can help you and your family collect and organize family health history information and easily share it with your doctor. You can find it on the My Family Health Portrait website.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer the following tips on how to collect your family health history:

  • Talk to your family. Write down the names of blood relatives you need to include in your history. The most important relatives to include in your family health history are your parents, brothers and sisters, and your children. Next, you may want to talk to grandparents, uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews, and half-brothers and half-sisters.
  • Ask questions. To find out about your risk for chronic diseases, ask your relatives about which of these diseases they have had and when they were diagnosed. Questions can include:
    • Do you have any chronic diseases, such as heart disease or diabetes, or health conditions such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol?
    • Have you had any other serious diseases, such as cancer or stroke?
    • How old were you when each of these diseases was diagnosed?
    • What is our family's ancestry – what country did we come from?
    • For relatives who have died, be sure to ask about cause and age of death.
  • Record the information. Write this information down, and be sure to update it from time to time.
  • Share family health history information with your doctor and other family members. If you are concerned about diseases that are common in your family, talk to your doctor at your next visit. A doctor can evaluate all of the factors, including family health history that may affect your risk of some diseases, and can recommend ways to reduce that risk.

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.

Versión en Español

En un esfuerzo para hacer que nuestros comunicados de prensa sean más accesibles, también tenemos disponibles una versión en español. Por favor presione el enlace de abajo para acceder a la traducción.

Tome Tiempo Este Día de Acción de Gracias Para Conocer el Historial de Salud de Su Familia