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Track Your Family Health History

Published: April 17, 2014

Celebrating with far-flung relatives this holiday season? Take some time to gather information about your family’s health history. Here’s how.

Common diseases—heart problems, high blood pressure, and diabetes—and even some rare ones tend to run in families. But forewarned is forearmed. Knowing your health risks can help you recognize early warning signs and take action to keep you and your children well.

An online resource from the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General makes it easy to talk about and document the health problems of your parents, grandparents, and other blood relatives.

Click here http://www.hhs.gov/familyhistory/start/startenglish.pdf for tips on who to talk to, how to explain what you are doing, and what questions to ask.

Click here to enter, organize, print, and share your family health portrait with your health care provider.

The information that you enter is protected under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and not available to the government or anyone else. To safely transfer the information to relatives, consider saving it to a CD or memory stick unless you have access to encrypted email.

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  • Suzanne Joy Stout

    Dear Post,

    My father adorned the April 10 1943 cover of your magazine! He is featured as “The Gunner” in the aircraft.
    Dad is turning 90 in June 2010. He was 23 in the photo. As leader of his squadron he has extraordinarystories to tell.
    Currently he is happily married, active in his community, does extensive travelling, and plays water volleyball!
    He is my greatest hero!

    Please let me know if you feel Dad’s story intrigues you! You and your readers will no doubt be entertained!