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Tracking Your Family's Health History

Watch to learn how to create a family health history.

Learning about your family health history could be the most important tradition you start with your family. Not only can learning about your family health history be fun, but for some, it could save lives.

Health problems like diabetes, asthma, cancer, and heart disease tend to run in families. When close family members have the same health problem or develop a problem at a younger age than expected, this means other family members are at greater risk of developing the same problem. By knowing your family's health history, you can make informed decisions that can help you lower your risk.

For example: Diabetes can tend to run in families. If someone in your family has or develops diabetes, you, too, may have an increased risk of getting diabetes. This is because you share more than just your genetics with your family. You also often share similar work or home environments, lifestyles, habits (diet and exercise), culture, traditions, social support systems, and more. All of these factors add to your family health history and your risk for developing diabetes.

Use the Family Health History Toolkit to help you talk about your family health history while the family is gathered together. Or set out a large piece of butcher paper as a tablecloth with crayons to write down your family health history. Write down what you learn and then share it with your family members and your doctor.

You can download your free Toolkit here:

Family Health History Toolkit

Spanish Health History Toolkit

Health Family Tree

For more information, visit cancerutah.org/genomics

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