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Why is it important to know my family health history?

Knowing your family history from a health perspective means you and your relatives are now health aware. This may motivate you to schedule screenings at appropriate times and to engage in lifestyle changes that target and reduce specific disease risks. For example, if you find out that an aunt and some cousins have diabetes, you may decide to lose any excess weight, begin an exercise program and get yearly screenings for diabetes. The same holds true for heart disease, certain cancers, arthritis and other chronic conditions.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.