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

etrieve much health history information on your biological family. But, as you have your own family, it is important that you document your personal health history to leave behind for them. In 2-3 generations the fact that you were adopted will have little to no impact on the quality of the family health information available to your descendents. Also, if you are thinking about becoming an adoptive parent, you should try to collect whatever family medical history is allowed in your state.

3. Myth: With all the DNA tests now available, wouldn't it just be better to take a DNA test and find out what diseases I'm "going to get?"

Fact: DNA tests are most often ordered and best interpreted in the context of family health history and with the support and guidance of a healthcare professional. Pairing DNA testing with family history can save health care dollars and better direct services. Even in our "high tech" world, family history remains the most sensitive genetic test known.

4. Myth: If I do not "favor" the side of my family that has the health problems "running in" it, I do not need to worry about collecting and recording my family history.

Fact: All people inherit 50% of their genes from each parent. Just because you look or act much more like one side of your family, it does not lessen your chances of inheriting genes for preventable health problems from your other parent.

Why is family health history so important? Advances in genetics research mean that knowing your family's medical history can help your healthcare provider to predict conditions for which you and your blood relatives may be at risk and to help you to take actions to minimize risks and protect your health.

Tools and Resources:

Visit the Newsroom at http://www.acmg.net for links to additional resources or to find a genetics health professional in your area.

About the American College of Medical Ge
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SOURCE American College of Medical Genetics
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