A detailed family medical history can be an important defense in protecting your family's health.
How to use a Family Medical History Form
The Mayo Clinic shares the following explanation of how you can most effectively use a family medical history:
You inherit half of your genetic profile from each parent. Along with the genetic information that determined your appearance, you inherited genes that may cause or increase your risk of certain medical conditions. Except for a relatively small number of genes, the identities of most disease-associated genes remain unknown.
A family medical history can serve as a "substitute" genetic test to help your doctor interpret the history of disease in your family and identify patterns that may be relevant to your own health.
Your doctor and other health care professionals may use your family medical history to:
- Assess your risk of certain diseases
- Recommend changes in diet or other lifestyle habits that can lower disease risk
- Recommend treatments that can modify disease risk
- Determine what diagnostic tests to order
- Determine the type and frequency of appropriate disease screening tests
- Determine whether you or family members should get a specific genetic test
- Identify a condition that might not otherwise be considered by your doctor
- Identify other family members who are at risk of developing a certain disease
- Assess your risk of passing conditions on to your children
A family medical history can't predict your future health. With few exceptions, it only provides information about risk. Other factors — such as your diet, weight, exercise routine, other lifestyle habits, and exposure to pollutants or environmental factors — will also raise or lower your risk of developing certain diseases.
For more from the Mayo Clinic on family medical histories, visit here.
Download our free PDF medical health history form here to get started.
(Yes, this is a free public service. I couldn't find an adequate medical history form online myself, so I made a template myself. With this web site I am sharing it with you now, too. I hope that these forms are helpful to your family's health.)
If you have feedback on the form or other suggestions, please leave a Comment below.