While you are counting your blessings this holiday season, take advantage of the family gathering to learn more about your medical history. “Thanksgiving and the big December holidays are a perfect time to talk about your family’s medical history,” says former Surgeon General Richard Carmona.
Why should you care about the health conditions of your relatives? “Family history is central to using the new genomic medicine,” explains geneticist Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. Learning about health trends in your family can help you and your doctor predict any conditions you might be at risk for.
To help you create your family’s health profile, the government has developed “My Family Health Portrait.” This document compiles familial information about six common genetically linked conditions, including heart disease and some forms of cancer.
“My Family Health Portrait” can be found in English and Spanish print versions at medical offices nationwide. You can also get a copy by calling 1-888-878-3256.
Read more about the Surgeon General's Family Health History Initiative
Go directly to the My Family Health Portrait Web tool