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Know the Myths and Facts About Family Health History: American College of Medical Genetics
Date:11/10/2008

Encourages Families to Gather Family Health History Information on National

Family History Day, Thanksgiving 2008

BETHESDA, Md., Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- This Thanksgiving is the fifth annual National Family History Day, as declared by the U.S. Surgeon General. The American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) encourages every American to know their family medical history and if they haven't already gathered this potentially life-saving information, to "start the conversation" about family medical history this Thanksgiving holiday. "Be proactive! Begin preparing now to be an active participant in the personalized medicine movement by learning and recording your family health history," says Judith Benkendorf, MS, CGC, of the American College of Medical Genetics. To help the public better understand Family Health History, ACMG has developed the following Myths and Facts:

1. Myth: It's way too complicated for me to try to gather my family health history. I'm too busy and it would take too much time.

Fact: Family history information can be collected over time. Begin by writing down your own health history and then that of your closest relatives (your parents, brothers, sisters and children), working out to your more distant relatives. As you identify missing information, make a list of what you need and have other family members assist you. A family health history is a living document. It is never done, but rather will continue to grow over time. The most important step is just getting started. Simple tools to assist with this process are listed below.

2. Myth: I'm adopted and have no information about my biological family. Therefore, recording a family health history does not apply to me.

Fact: This is a common concern for people who were adopted and is one reason why people seek a consultation with a geneticist or genetic counselor. The longer ago you were adopted, the less likely it is that you will be able to r
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SOURCE American College of Medical Genetics
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