Knowing your health history can help you reduce your risks of developing health problems. Risks for certain diseases like asthma, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease can run in families. Knowing your history can help you take action to prevent or manage these diseases.
You may not be able to change your genetics, but you can address unhealthy habits like smoking, poor diet, or lack of exercise. These can affect your overall health risks. If you are aware of diseases that run in your family- certain cancers, high cholesterol, or blood pressure, osteoporosis, etc.- you can take steps to prevent them before they even develop. Healthy eating, exercise, and having appropriate screening tests can help you reduce your chances of even getting these diseases.
To learn your health history, you may need to do some research. Talk to siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, or nephews about their health conditions. You may also need to look at death certificates or medical records, if possible, for family members who are no longer alive. When you know your history, you can better plan for a healthy future.