Simple ways, reasons, and how-to’s to start collecting your family health history. For adoptees who have children but will never receive their information due to sealed record laws that the adoption industry fights against changing, at least start recording yours now, for them.
If you only read one link I would recommend you read this one. Family History: The Three-Generation Pedigree from the American Family physician.
Short article on how genealogical records can be useful tools. Well worth reading. Why You Should Research Your Family History AND Your Family HEALTH History.
The Surgeon General page has excellent info and video links as well as a very easy tool for collecting the info on a web-based platform. If you are concerned about privacy you can make it very anonymous. I believe you can also print it off without saving it, although you can save it and update it yearly which I believe is the intent.
Medline Plus from the NIH has a blurb about Family Health History it and scrolling down further you will see many links worth checking out.
Utah government provides this pdf as a starter kit for collecting information from relatives with easy to use forms for relatives to fill out. The how to use those filled out forms to design a pedigree and spot patterns.
News Video about collecting info via computer in doctor’s office providing the doctor with red flags at first appointment for pre-natal care.
Personally, I just used a spreadsheet program and started with the oldest family members I received info on and set it up as a family tree / pedigree style diagram. I included sex, nationality, lifestyle issues, diseases and age at diagnosis, age at death and cause of death. Doing it in a spreadsheet allows me to update it easily as well as highlight patterns of diseases being transmitted every generation or every other generation. I did this for both the maternal and paternal sides of my mother’s family.
The more they learn about genetics, the more important this information will become not only in your care, but in proactive screening. Screening you won’t get unless you have the family health history, because no insurance is going to pay for tests if there is not a documented family history.