As everyone is preparing for holiday travels or out-of-town visits from relatives, it is a good time to remember that family gatherings give you the perfect opportunity to discuss your family health history. Each year since 2004, the Surgeon General has declared Thanksgiving to be National Family History Day.
A family health history is a written or graphic record of the diseases and health conditions present in your family. A useful family health history shows three generations of your biological relatives, the age at diagnosis of any specific diseases, and the age and cause of death of deceased family members. The family health history is a useful tool for understanding health risks and preventing disease in individuals and their close relatives.
If you have already discussed your family health history, now is a great time to update it. And if it is not something you have had a chance to do, holidays are the perfect opportunity, when everyone is gathered together. You can read more about the importance of family health history in some of our previous blog posts. And you can go to our website to find our helpful family health history forms. Learning about your family’s health history may help to ensure that your family can celebrate more holidays together in the future.