Navigation Links
Acting Surgeon General Encourages Americans to Know Their Health History During Fourth Annual Family History Day
Date:11/20/2007

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- How familiar are you with the health of your family tree? While the relatives are gathered for the food and festivity of the Thanksgiving holiday, taking a good look at the family health history is also time well spent.

That's why Acting Surgeon General Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H., has declared Thanksgiving 2007 the fourth annual National Family History Day. He encourages everyone to use the occasion to discuss and identify health problems that seem to run in the family.

"Having a conversation about your family health history may help ensure a longer, healthier future together," Dr. Galson said. "By sharing information, loved ones can help each other learn about diseases for which they may be at risk, and take steps which may reduce their vulnerability to them."

Results of these important holiday conversations should be put down in writing.

"Creating a health record will make it easier for every family member to preserve his or her health," the Acting Surgeon General said.

The U.S. Surgeon General's Family History Initiative was created to encourage all American families to learn more about family health history.

Surveys indicate more than 90 percent of Americans believe that knowing their family health history is important. But they also show that only about one third of Americans have ever tried to gather and write down their family's health history.

A careful family health history may provide insight into the risk of inheriting specific diseases, shared environmental factors, and individual health concerns.

People can't change their genes, but knowing a family's health history can help people take action to reduce higher disease risks that could be related to genes. For instance, they might seek health advice and have preventive screening earlier for the diseases identified such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer.

A health history also can encourage changes in behavior that affect personal health, such as smoking, inactivity, and poor eating habits. People with a family health history of some chronic diseases and cancer may have the most to gain from making lifestyle changes.

Information about family history can be accessed through the Surgeon General's Web site at http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/familyhistory/.

Because family health history is such a powerful screening technique, the Surgeon General has made available a computerized tool to help make it easy for anyone to create a portrait of their family's health. To access the tool, called My Family Health Portrait, go to http://familyhistory.hhs.gov.

Numerous improvements have been made to the Web site, making it easier to organize and report family history to health care providers, including combining the family tree drawing (pedigree) and information chart into a single printout; improved save features to prevent losing entered information and enhanced help files and workflow.

Other activities that support the U.S. Surgeon General's Family History Initiative included newly produced educational videos with Francis S. Collins M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Human Genome Research Institute in the National Institutes of Health. The videos explain to patients the importance of family health history in primary medical care.

The videos will be made available through the Web sites of some 70,000 primary care providers. Other outreach includes public service announcement posters to be distributed through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association.

In addition to the Web-based tool, printable, PDF versions and other resources related to the Surgeon General's Family Health Initiative are available at http://www.hhs.gov/familyhistory/.

"I encourage families to make the time to sit down together and become familiar with the health history of previous generations," Dr. Galson said. "This may help family members for years to come."

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.


'/>"/>
SOURCE U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. New treatment effective in counteracting cocaine-induced symptoms
2. Acting Surgeon General Announces National Initiatives to Protect Children by Reducing Exposure to Secondhand Smoke
3. MedHelp to Add Top Stanford Surgeons and Specialized Forums to Online Health Community
4. Revolutionary HD Surgical Footage from North Shore-LIJ Surgeon to be Broadcast for the First Time on ABCs 20/20, National Geographic Channel
5. Surgeons Remove Gallbladder Through Vagina
6. CRH Medical to exhibit at American College of Surgeons Annual Clinical Congress
7. Cosmetic Surgeons Gather in Dubai for World Congress, Hospital Opening
8. Seattle Surgeon Named 2007 Veterinarian of the Year
9. Starion Instruments Launches Next-Generation Tissue Ligating Shears at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress
10. Prominent Farmington Plastic Surgeon Uses Two New Non-Surgical Procedures to Tighten Skin and Remove Fat
11. Patients should ask surgeons about using honey to heal wounds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... Lean Leadership Series at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on April 5-7. The ... new behaviors and create new habits. The workshops cover a broad range of ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... AssureVest ... surrounding areas, is initiating a charity drive that will raise funds earmarked to purchase ... John C. Tayloe Elementary School. , “My school is in a low-income area and ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... the Pittsburgh metro area, celebrates the beginning of the latest charity campaign in ... social skills through art. Donations to this worthy cause are currently being accepted ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... J Thomas & Associates ... it’s commitment to act as Agents of Change in the community, announces a ... homeless families to fulfill immediate needs and help them move into permanent housing. ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Homeowners ... exterior design possibilities. CertainTeed, North America’s leading brand of building products, has improved ... offerings showcased in the mobile version of the ColorView® Exterior Style and Color ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... -- Memorial Hermann Health System has teamed up with Houston ... a one-of-a-kind experience to pediatric patients at Children,s ... 360-degree video and Google Cardboard, Howard was able to ... the patients and their families an unexpected, and energetically ... video . Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... 12, 2016  Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ARLZ ... Company will ring the Nasdaq Closing Bell at the ... at 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, February ... Adrian Adams , will perform the honorary ... 4:00 p.m. ET.  A live webcast will be available ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... 12, 2016 --> ... Chronic Inflammation Global Clinical Trials Review, H2, 2015 ... global clinical trials landscape along with top level ... Country (G7 & E7), Trial Status, Trial Phase, ... top companies involved and enlists all trials (Trial ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: