[HEALTH.MIL] "Family Health History Day"

  • From: HEALTH.MIL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: <HEALTH.MIL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <TFL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2013 16:39:45 -0600

November 20, 2013 

Contact: HHS Press Office 

Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak Declares Thanksgiving "Family Health
History Day"

As we celebrate the Nation's 10th annual Family Health History Day this
Thanksgiving, I encourage everyone to spend time talking with their family
members about their health. National Family Health History Day is a great
opportunity to draw attention to the importance of sharing family health

Both rare diseases and common ones, like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes,
can run in families. Understanding your family health history can help you and
your health care provider predict your risk for health problems and keep you and
your family healthy. 

As a physician, I know that a patient's family health history is an easy, quick
and inexpensive way to get a rough estimate of how strongly a particular disease
runs in a family. Knowing your family health history can help your clinician
identify screening and treatment options that are personalized for you. For
example, heart disease, which is the number one cause of death in women, can run
in families. If someone in your immediate family-mother, father, sister or
brother-has heart disease, you have twice the risk of developing heart disease
as someone without that family history. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, many
preventive screenings are now covered under health insurance with no cost share
for Americans.

While you can't change your family health history, you can act to reduce your
disease risk and keep yourself and your family healthy. Making healthy choices
is important for everyone, but it's especially important for those at higher
risk because of a family history of disease. If you or others in your family
have a history of heart disease or stroke, you can take steps to reduce risk by
discussing with your physician the "ABCS" of the Million Heart Campaign: Aspirin
for people at risk, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management and Smoking
cessation. These are all steps that can help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

The Surgeon General <https://familyhistory.hhs.gov/> 's My Family Health
Portrait tool provides consumers with a free and easy way to record their family
health information. Consumers are able to organize their family history
information and share it with their family and health care professionals. 

 <https://familyhistory.hhs.gov/> My family health history website

During this Thanksgiving holiday, I hope you and your family will take a few
minutes to create a family health portrait. Learning your family's health
history is a great way to invest in the future of your health and your family's


SOURCE:  HHS News Release at



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