What diseases should I look for in my family health history?

It is important to have a thorough understanding of your family's health background. All diseases are important. However, some are known to be passed from generation to generation. Conditions that are congenital (occur at birth), genetic mutations, cancer and heart disease have a tendency to run in families. If you have questions about part of your family medical history, ask your family members or family doctor.

Dr. Miriam S. Buckberg, MD
Family Practitioner

In your family health history, look for diseases that are linked to family history, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and specific types of cancer. If you’re worried about your possible increased risk of developing any of these conditions, look for some of these contributing factors as you research your family tree:

  • diseases that occur in more than one close relative
  • diseases that occur 10 to 20 years before most people are diagnosed with the disease
  • specific disease combinations, such as having both heart disease and diabetes, or both breast and ovarian cancers

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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.