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Home News The holidays are a great time to ask about family health history.
David Morgan
575-528-5197 Office
575-649-0754 Mobile

The holidays are a great time to ask about family health history.

SANTA FE – It’s not every day families get to be in one place at the same time, but you may find yourself thankful this holiday season if you have one family conversation many don’t think to have. 
Thanksgiving is also National Family Health History Day. Health care professionals have known for a long time that common diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes and even rare diseases like the CCM1 gene mutation also known as the Common Hispanic Mutation, hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, and sickle cell anemia can tend to be passed on in families from one generation to the next. 
“Knowing is half the battle. You can’t change your genes, but you can change unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, not exercising or poor eating habits,” said New Mexico Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Miranda Durham, MD. “Knowing your family health history, helps you inform your medical provider to see if things like blood sugar testing, mammograms, and colorectal cancer screening are right for you – and if so, when.” 
The U.S. Surgeon General's My Family Health Portrait is a free online tool that can help you and your family collect and organize family health history information and easily share it with your doctor. Your doctor can use it to develop a more complete picture of your health and your risk factors for disease. Together you can work on ways to reduce that risk. 
Most people have a family health history of at least one chronic disease, mostly cancer, heart disease and diabetes. If you have a close family member with a chronic disease, you may be more likely to develop that disease yourself, especially if more than one close relative has (or had) the disease.  
Any health history you can collect is helpful, maybe potentially lifesaving, but the more the better, such as information about your parents, sisters, brothers, half sisters, half brothers, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Try to get information on major medical conditions, causes of death, age at disease diagnosis, age at death and ethnic background.   
For more details about the benefits of understanding your family health history visit

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Los días festivos son un buen momento para preguntar sobre el historial médico de la familia