Celebrating National Family Health History Day Can Help Keep You and Your Family Stay Well

November 16, 2021 by MORE Health Staff

National Family Health History Day always falls on Thanksgiving. This year during your family gathering, take the opportunity to share health details that could protect both you and your loved ones. 

It probably seems like an odd choice of conversation; however, knowing one another’s health history can benefit every member of your family—now and for years to come.

Here's How to Document Your Family Health History

Start by writing down the names of close relatives on both sides of your family. Record the illnesses or health conditions they’ve had, including when they were diagnosed. It’s also helpful to mark down the names of relatives who have passed away, along with their age and cause of death.

The CDC recommends asking family members questions like the ones below to find out your risk for chronic illnesses:

  • Do you have chronic diseases, such as heart disease or diabetes, or health conditions like high blood pressure or high cholesterol?
  • Have you had any other serious illnesses like cancer or stroke? What type of cancer?
  • How old were you when your doctor diagnosed you with each of these diseases or health conditions? (If your relative doesn’t remember, it’s still helpful to know the approximate age.)
  • What is your family’s ancestry? From what countries or regions did your ancestors come to the United States?

What you learn can help everyone in your family, so if some relatives aren’t sitting around the table with you this holiday, make sure to send the information to them too. Don’t forget to update the document as new health details emerge. 

Once you have a clear picture of your family health history, you’ll have the tools you need to take action. Perhaps you’ll discover that heart disease runs in your family, which could prompt you to alter your diet, exercise more, and keep tabs on your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Or maybe you’ll learn you have a family history of early colorectal or breast cancer, prompting you to consider early screenings for those diseases. Whatever you find out, it can allow you and your physician to create the best possible plan to keep you healthy and well.

Cheers to your family’s health!

About MORE Health

MORE Health, a global digital health company, provides peace of mind and confidence when you need it most—when facing a serious life-changing illness. MORE Health delivers a diagnosis and recommended treatment plan from the world’s best medical minds through a virtual second opinion. This collaborative approach to diagnosis puts the patient at the center of the process—empowering them to make informed decisions regarding their healthcare. The service ensures that the attending doctor and the expert physician specialist are aligned through their proprietary, GDPR- and HIPAA-compliant Physician Collaboration Platform™; this minimizes errors while also resolving potential conflicts regarding the diagnosis and treatment plan developed. Available as an employee benefit and on an individual basis, MORE Health has helped patients on six continents since 2013 and continues its mission to provide clients and their members access to the best medical minds in the world. 

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