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NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine, Trusted Health Information from the National Institutes of Health

My Family Health Portrait, A tool from the Surgeon General

Four family members looking at the camera
images of families

My Family Health Portrait is an Internet-based tool that makes it easy to create your family's health history. It is simple to fill out. It is private. It is valuable health information that you can share with family members, for their benefit, and with your healthcare practitioner, for your better health.

My Family Health History is available at:
https://familyhistory.hhs.gov/fhh-web/home.action

Using My Family Health Portrait, you can:

  • Record your family's health history
  • Print out and share the history with your family and your healthcare provider
  • Save and regularly update your family health history for future use

Why is it important to know my family medical history?

Your family medical history is a record of health information about you and three generations of close relatives. Family history can be an important risk factor for problems like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. A risk factor is anything that increases your chance of getting a disease. The reason a family history can help predict risk is that families share their genes, as well as other factors that affect health, like environment, lifestyles, and habits. A family medical history allows you to take steps to reduce your risk.

To Find Out More

MedlinePlus: Family History
www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/familyhistory.html

Family Health History
www.cdc.gov/genomics/famhistory/index.htm

Winter 2010 Issue: Volume 5 Number 1 Page 4