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Your Familys Health History

zongxujian 于2007-06-11发布 l 已有人浏览
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Just as you've inherited your father's prominent nose and your mother's blue eyes, you may also get his diabetes and her high blood pressure. The U.S. Surgeon General's Family History Initiative explains why it's important to keep track:

How can my family's medical history help me?
"It gives you a rough idea of the script you've been handed," says ob/gyn Christiane Northrup, author of Mother-Daughter Wisdom: Creating a Legacy of Personal and Emotional Health. It will help you determine your risk of disease, and reduce or avoid the problem altogether by practicing healthier habits. So if Grandma died of lung cancer, you may think twice about lighting up. "While genetics are important, lifestyle changes go a long way in ensuring good health," says Northrup.

What conditions should I be most concerned about?
We know that family history plays a role in several types of cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, depression and other diseases.

How do I get the information?
Interview your relatives and write down their responses. Or e-mail them. To find information on deceased relatives, search through government records or access genealogy resources online or at the library. You should also know your own history -- especially if you have kids. If you're adopted, contact the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse (naic.acf.hhs.gov) to learn how to get your birth parents' medical and genetic history.

How can I compile and use all these medical histories?
Log on to hhs.gov/familyhistory, where you'll find a free program that allows you to create a diagram of your family health tree. Print out a copy for yourself, your relatives and your doctor, who may use it to help you prevent or manage conditions.

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