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Essays On Family Health History

A family medical history is a record of health information about a person and his or her close relatives. A complete record includes information from three generations of relatives, including children, brothers and sisters, parents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, grandparents, and cousins.

Families have many factors in common, including their genes, environment, and lifestyle. Together, these factors can give clues to medical conditions that may run in a family. By noticing patterns of disorders among relatives, healthcare professionals can determine whether an individual, other family members, or future generations may be at an increased risk of developing a particular condition.

A family medical history can identify people with a higher-than-usual chance of having common disorders, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, certain cancers, and diabetes. These complex disorders are influenced by a combination of genetic factors, environmental conditions, and lifestyle choices. A family history also can provide information about the risk of rarer conditions caused by mutations in a single gene, such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease.

While a family medical history provides information about the risk of specific health concerns, having relatives with a medical condition does not mean that an individual will definitely develop that condition. On the other hand, a person with no family history of a disorder may still be at risk of developing that disorder.

Knowing one’s family medical history allows a person to take steps to reduce his or her risk. For people at an increased risk of certain cancers, healthcare professionals may recommend more frequent screening (such as mammography or colonoscopy) starting at an earlier age. Healthcare providers may also encourage regular checkups or testing for people with a medical condition that runs in their family. Additionally, lifestyle changes such as adopting a healthier diet, getting regular exercise, and quitting smoking help many people lower their chances of developing heart disease and other common illnesses.

The easiest way to get information about family medical history is to talk to relatives about their health. Have they had any medical problems, and when did they occur? A family gathering could be a good time to discuss these issues. Additionally, obtaining medical records and other documents (such as obituaries and death certificates) can help complete a family medical history. It is important to keep this information up-to-date and to share it with a healthcare professional regularly.

Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation

Spring 2012

HE 14: Critical Issues in Personal Health Instructor: Gloria Moore

Family History Assignment

Yes, I found it difficult to complete the family history because my main family such as my siblings, Mother, and Father are all I have. My Mother is from Ecuador and she moved to the states when she was 13 of age. It has been more than 3 decades that she has seen her mom, my grand-mother. She was able to make calls for me and my paper. We spoke to my grandmother for hours, we’ve asked her so many questions such as: have you ever been sick to the point you were hospitalized? She said “sick to the point I need to be hospitalized? No, I had some bad fevers as a young girl but never so sick.” Have you ever had a dramatic injury? she said “yea, I once fell of a bike full speed and fractured a bone.”   Are you feeling any different from now, then 20 year earlier? She said, “yes, I feel so much wiser but physically? No.” How long has it been since you last checked up on your health? She laughed, “It is funny you ask my all of this I visited my doctor earlier today.” What do your doctor say about your health when you visit? She said, “Dr. Chávez told me I was in perfect condition for an elderly my age son, you see all you have to do is eat right and work hard but not too much. Too much and to little is bad for your health.” She was happy to hear from us and was glad to help me with this paper. I took note and felt happy for the both of us. On the other hand I’m not at all familiar with my father side of the family and all I truly know is that in the last 5 years I’ve had a cousin who passed away from diabetes in her 30s. A uncle that passed away from aids. And my grandmother who also passed on because of diabetes. All this research left me in shock . I asked myself so many unanswered questions. The only road block that I came across was only the tears and pain I seen for the losses. Some of my family...

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