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From Family Tree to Family Health

From Family Tree to Family Health

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From Family Tree to Family Health

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  1. From Family Tree to Family Health

  2. Genealogy information collected: Names Relationships Date of Birth Date of Death Knowing your family tree

  3. Professionals note: Names Relationships Date of Birth Date of Death Health diagnoses Age of onset Associated problems Genetics Family History

  4. Family Health HistoryYour own family version • Combines Genealogy and Health Information • Also captures: • Lifestyle choices • Habits • Shared environment

  5. Family Health History: Why? • Having a family history of many common chronic health problems increases the risk that you may also develop that health problem. • Families share genes, but also share their environment, their lifestyles, the food they eat and their habits.

  6. Risk Factors for Disease Genes, environment, and behaviors interact with each other to cause disease. Behaviors Interaction Genes Environment U.S. Surgeon General Family History Initiative

  7. Risk Factors A risk factor increases your risk of developing a disease or health problem. Environment Behaviors and lifestyle Genes U.S. Surgeon General Family History Initiative

  8. Risk Factors for Disease Environment Environmental risk factors include exposures to harmful agents in food, water and air. U.S. Surgeon General Family History Initiative

  9. Risk Factors for Disease Behaviors and lifestyle Behavioral and lifestyle risk factors include poor diet, lack of physical activity, smoking, abuse of alcohol, and failure to get recommended screening tests. U.S. Surgeon General Family History Initiative

  10. Risk Factors for Disease Genes Genes provide the directions for building all of the proteins that make our bodies function. Genes are passed down by parents to their offspring. Some genes may not function properly leading to disease. U.S. Surgeon General Family History Initiative

  11. Risk Factors for Disease Family history helps capture the effects of these interactions on disease risk. Behaviors Family History Genes Environment U.S. Surgeon General Family Health Initiative

  12. What is family history? A family’s combination of shared genes, environment, behavior, and culture U.S. Surgeon General Family History Initiative

  13. Everyone has a family history of something allergies diabetes blue eyes high blood pressure acne leanness high cholesterol osteoporosis red hair height athleticism curly hair obesity stroke emphysema cancer asthma arthritis U.S. Surgeon General Family History Initiative kidney disease

  14. How can your family history help you? • Learn about diseases that run in your family • Take advantage of screening tests that can detect disease at an early stage when it is most treatable • Change unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, inactivity and poor eating habits U.S. Surgeon General Family History Initiative

  15. How to collect family history

  16. Talk with your relatives: • Parents if they are living • Older relatives are a great source of information • Family reunions, vacations, holidays • If you are adopted • Talk with your adoptive parents • You may have access to records through the adoption agency

  17. Where to Find Family Health Information • Existing family trees, family charts • Baby books, birthday date books, a family bible • Available medical records • State records of births, marriages and deaths (County Clerk office) • Genealogy websites (important to verify information for your family)

  18. How to Record Your Family Health History • Keep a written list of the information • Draw a family tree, “a pedigree” • Instructions found in “Does it Run in the Family” A Guide to Family Health History (available through the Genetic Alliance) Use an existing website • U.S. Surgeon General’s Family History Initiative •

  19. Who should be included in the family health history? • Yourself • Your brothers and sisters • Their children: your nieces and nephews • Your children • Your parents • Your aunts and uncles • Their children: your cousins • Your Grandparents

  20. For each person, try to write down: • Current age or date of birth • For deceased relatives the age at death (or best guess) and cause of death • Note medical problems and the age of onset for each relative • Smoking, diet, and weight

  21. Cancer Heart Disease Diabetes Asthma Mental illness High Blood Pressure Vision/hearing loss Stroke Mental Retardation Kidney Disease Birth Defects such as Spina bifida Cleft lip Heart defects Examples of medical conditions:

  22. Note Ethnicity for each side of the family English/Irish German grand-parents grand-parents parents aunts & uncles siblings you children nieces & nephews To learn to draw a family tree like this, go to

  23. Note information in Pedigree J John Smith DOB 10/10/1950 Heart Attack Age 50 years Smoked 2 pcks/day 20 years Not overweight

  24. Note information in List • Sister Jane Smith DOB 5/5/1945 • Sister June Clark DOB 6/6/1948 Heart Attack age 55 No smoking Overweight • Brother John Jones DOB 10/10/1950 Heart Attack age 50 Smoked 2 pcks/day 20 yrs Not overweight

  25. Identifies frequent health problems

  26. Does It Run in the Family?A Guide To Family Health History • Tools for gathering family history information • Sample questions to ask your family members • Examples of recording health facts • Booklet “Understanding Genetics and Disease” • Suggestions for family history related journal topics Joint project: U.S. DHHS HRSA MCH Bureau Genetic Services Branch

  27. What to do with your family health history information • Keep somewhere you will remember! • Bring it out to update regularly • Share a copy with your healthcare provider • Share a copy with your family members

  28. What will your health professional do with the information? • Determine your risk for disease based on: • - number of family members with the disease • - the age when they were diagnosed - how you are related to the family member • Consider other disease risk factors • Recommend screening tests and lifestyle changes US Surgeon General Family History Initiative

  29. Talk with your Healthcare Provider • Important to consider family history in the healthcare of each family member • Risk applies to each family member in addition to other diagnoses • Healthcare provider can suggest screening for common adult onset conditions such as: Heart disease Asthma Stroke Diabetes Cancer High blood pressure High cholesterol

  30. Summary From Family Tree to Family Health Your personal health and the health of your family is influenced by • family health history • environment • diet • lifestyle • habits

  31. Summary From Family Tree to Family Health • The genetic factors contributing to family health cannot be changed • Genetics factors are not the whole reason behind health or disease • Knowing the genetic risks in the family may help to focus choices that will prevent disease and lead to optimal family health

  32. Online tools and information: • Surgeon General Family History Initiative • English Spanish • CDC Family History • National Society of Genetics Counselors • •

  33. Important Conference Session • Sunday, July 30th 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM Positive Health Outcomes The ultimate agenda Apryl Brown, Detroit Medical Reserve Corps