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

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.

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.