22 April 2014

Sharing your family health history at the doctor’s office

Yassine Mrabet, Wikimedia Commons under public domain
When you’re collecting your genealogy information, it’s also important to learn your family’s health histories. Your doctor can use that data to uncover hereditary health problems and how they may affect you and your family.

To start, you want to create health portraits for yourself, your children, siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Some of the basic data you should collect include: ethnic and racial background; major illnesses and chronic health problems; surgeries and hospitalizations; medications, immunizations; lifestyle habits (diet, weight, exercise, smoking and other addictions); emotional and behavioral problems; and cause of death. It’s also important to add birth and death dates as well as age at onset or diagnosis for each health event.

Some genealogy software programs track medical conditions and DNA results, such as Legacy Family Tree, RootsMagic, and Family Tree Maker. In addition, you can use: