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Panel assesses evidence for the collection and use of family health history information
Date:8/27/2009

eattle. "Additionally, increased emphasis on personalized medicine and electronic health records creates a fascinating opportunity to maximize the value of this information responsibly."

The panel recognized that family history has an important role in the practice of medicine and may motivate positive lifestyle changes, enhance individual empowerment, and influence clinical interventions. The panel found that it is unclear how this information can be effectively gathered and used in the primary care setting for common diseases. Additional research is needed to understand how the routine collection of family history will lead to improved health outcomes. To help address these gaps, the panel outlined several research recommendations in three categories: the family health information to be collected, the optimal way to collect and use it, and the outcomes of this tool for diagnosis and engagement with individuals and family members.

Individuals interested in recording their family's health history can visit <http://www.hhs.gov/familyhistory>, a tool provided by the Office of the Surgeon General.

The panel's complete updated draft state-of-the-science statement will be available later today at <http://consensus.nih.gov>. The conference was sponsored by the NIH Office of Medical Applications of Research and the National Human Genome Research Institute along with other NIH and Department of Health and Human Services components. This conference was conducted under the NIH Consensus Development Program, which convenes conferences to assess the available scientific evidence and develop objective statements on controversial medical issues.

The 16-member conference panel included experts in the fields of family medicine, population health, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, health economics, epidemiology, biostatistics, genetic counseling, medic
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Contact: Kelli Marciel
Kelli.Marciel@mail.nih.gov
301-496-4819
NIH/National Institutes of Health, Office of Disease Prevention
Source:Eurekalert

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