Family Health History

Did you know your family’s health history can affect your risk for certain diseases like cancer or diabetes? Family members share not only their culture, lifestyle behaviors and environment but also genes that may be risk factors. It is important to collect your medical family history from relatives, write it down and share with your healthcare provider. Family history can be used to estimate the risk of having an inherited disorder (a condition that is passed from parent to child). If risk factors are found, lifestyle changes, screening or other interventions may reduce the risk. For more information on family health history, check out the resources below.

Highlighted Resources

Family Health History Fact Cards

Fact cards focusing on promoting sharing and knowing family health history, targeting topics such as: asthma, cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

MDHHS Cancer Family History Guide

This Cancer Family History Guide gives healthcare professionals an easy, helpful way to determine if a patient needs a referral for genetic counseling or increased screening for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers and Lynch syndrome.

MDHHS Family History and Your Health Fact Card

This fact card from MDHHS promotes the sharing of your health history with your healthcare provider and family to help prevent chronic illness.

My Family Health Portrait

This web-based tool from the Surgeon General makes it easy to track, save and update family health history.

US Surgeon General's Family Health History Initiative

This initiative focuses on the importance of family history and encourages all American families to learn more about their own histories and provides a Family History Portrait Tool to track and share this information among family members.

Additional Resources

Cancer Family History Guide Instruction Card

This instruction card describes the use of the MDCH Cancer Family History Guide guide which is designed to identify patients at increased risk for one of two hereditary cancer syndromes: Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer syndrome (HBOC) and Lynch syndrome.

Cancer Genomics Resources Order Form

Order these great informational MDCH cancer genomics resources including; family history fact cards, the cancer family history guide and informed consent booklet.

Creating a Clinical Risk Assessment Tool to Promote Cancer Genomics

A summary presentation of the creation of MDCH's Cancer Family History Guide. This unique clinical decision tool aids providers in collecting, assessing, and performing a quick risk assessment for cancer family history.

Creating a Clinical Risk Assessment Tool to Promote Cancer Genomics Best Practices in the State of Michigan

A summary poster of the creation and early dissemination of MDCH's Cancer Family History Guide. This unique clinical decision tool aids providers in collecting, assessing, and performing a quick risk assessment for cancer family history.

Family Health History and Diabetes Newsletter

This issue highlights the second annual Family Health History Initiative from the United States Surgeon General. Also, find information regarding National Diabetes Awareness month and the important role family history plays in this chronic disease that is reaching epidemic proportions.

Family Health History Poster

This poster created by MDCH for professionals to promote recording a patient's family history.

Family History and Cholesterol Newsletter

This issue highlights National Cholesterol Awareness month and the family connection.  It also takes a look at the 2005 Dietary Guidelines to help you and your family make healthy eating choices.

Family History and Chronic Disease Newsletter

This issue of Family History and Your Health highlights the United States Surgeon General's first Family Health History Initiative. Read a message from Michigan's Surgeon General, Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, and find valuable resources for recording your family health history.

Family History and Colorectal Cancer Newsletter

This issue highlights Colorectal Cancer Awareness month with some valuable resources in regards to family health history.  There is also an informative list on what ages are considered "early onset" for some of the major chronic conditions.

Family History and Depression Newsletter

This issue highlights the role that genetics and family history play in people with depression and poor mental health.

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