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

ourage 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 '/>"/>

SOURCE U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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