Create your family health portrait on Thanksgiving: National Family Health History Day
Each year since 2004, the Surgeon General has declared Thanksgiving to be National Family Health History Day. Over the holiday or at other times when families gather, the Surgeon General encourages Americans to talk about, and to write down, the health problems that seem to run in their family. Learning about their family’s health history may help ensure a longer, healthier future together.
Ninety-six percent of Americans believe that knowing their family history is important. Yet, only one-third of Americans have ever tried to gather and write down their family’s health history. The Surgeon General’s My Family Health Portrait tool is a free resource that helps people collect and privately share their family history information through a secured system.
The My Family Health Portrait tool is now web-based and includes these features:
- Optional modules that help determine if an individual is at increased or average risk for colorectal cancer and diabetes in an easy format to share with health care professionals.
- Mobile-friendly access so users can manage their family health history information wherever they are and whenever they want on their mobile devices such as tablets.
- More ways for users to save and manage their family history information to personal digital storage sites that use secured information transfer methods.
By collecting health information from relatives, individuals and families are taking the first step towards preventing diseases or health conditions. Family history cannot be changed — but sharing the history with health care providers can help to identify strategies to reduce risk for diseases like diabetes and heart disease in the future. Making healthy choices is important for everyone, but it is especially important for those at higher risk because of a family history of disease.
More information on the Surgeon General’s My Family Health Portrait is available at the Surgeon General’s My Family Health History Initiative webpage.
Have a safe and happy holiday from all of us at Answers Media Company.