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Why is family history important to health?


Knowing your family history can help your doctor predict your risk of developing diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Family members share their genes, and often share their environment, lifestyles, and habits. Using family history helps identify if you or others in your family that may be at increased risk for disease. A family health portrait given to your primary care provider helps your provider consider both your genes and these other shared risk factors influencing your health.

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Last Updated: 04/18/2008