Your Family (Health) Tree
“The old saying ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’ certainly applies to medicine,” says Barry Denenberg, MD, a board-certified cardiologist with Cardiovascular Consultants of Southern Delaware.
“Knowledge of family health history gives you a chance to change your behavior and decrease your risk, and gives your doctor a chance to screen for a condition before it becomes a problem.”
How much do you know about your family’s health history? A great first step is to get connected with someone who can help you understand medical facts about your loved ones, such as a family member or doctor.
“The more studies looking at the genetic component of disease, the more we realize that our genes and environment play an important part in our health,” Dr. Denenberg says.
Actions to Take
+ Create a record of all medical information. Share with your kids and make sure they understand any symptoms to look out for.
+ Know your risk factors. If a health condition runs in your family and can be addressed by lifestyle changes, be mindful of this and work to fight against it.
+ Take necessary precautions. Inform your doctor, get screened, tested, etc.