US Surgeon General Richard H Carmona is encouraging families to share more with each other this holiday season. While you’ve got the whole clan in one place, wouldn’t it be a great time to sit down and compile a more complete family medical history? Sure beats Yahtzee.
So gather as many generations of blood relatives as possible, including your parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, half brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, children and grandchildren.
If you’re married with children, include your spouse’s family history as well. Non-blood relatives may have good information on your family, too. By mapping your family medical history and creating a medical family tree, sometimes called a medical pedigree, you can identify some health risks and take steps to prevent them.
For example, if there is a family history of breast cancer, earlier and more frequent mammograms might be appropriate. Knowing you may be at risk for certain diseases might encourage you to modify diet, exercise and unhealthy behaviors.
While collecting all of this information, we’re urged to remeber that…
This information is personal and confidential. Share only with appropriate medical personnel.
Apparently, Richard H Carmona does not have a grandmother like mine, who would undoubtetly share far too much of everyone’s information the world over via oddly-capitalized emails.
Link to the article in the Miami Herald.
As of the middle of the night, west coast time, the link to the .gov website appears to be down…