Thanksgiving is Family Health History Awareness Day


When we are asked about family health history we think about major diseases like cancer or heart problems about as far back as our grandparents. The Surgeon General declared every Thanksgiving since 2004 to be National Family Health History Day to encourage families to write down health problems that run in families.

Importance of Gathering Health Information

According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, 96 percent of Americans believe knowing family history is important but only one-third have ever tried to gather their family’s health history. You may not know that a seemingly small problem you and your aunt have is also related to something bigger that your grandmother suffered from. this is also a great way to ensure a quicker diagnosis if something comes along and to keep an eye out for possible problems in children.

Keep Track of Health History

An easy online way to keep track of your information is to use My Family Health Portrait that the Surgeon General has created. Your whole family can have access to update information and print out to give to doctors whenever they need. This is a great tool for extended family who can’t travel to contribute as well as for kids moving away from home to have what they need at their fingertips.

Benefits of Health History

You will be able to monitor possible conditions and assess your risks for arthritis or diabetes based on your family’s history. If you recognize a high occurrence of certain conditions that are genetic that you didn’t see before, talking to your doctor sooner rather than later about lowering your chances is always wise.

This Thanksgiving, take an hour to talk about your family’s health or set a date for another time to discuss it. You will find the benefits sooner than you expect.

Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City provides wellness testing for individuals, including screening for most major health risks. There are no doctor’s orders, appointments, or insurance needed to visit our facility for accurate lab testing.

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