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Best Genetic Test = Knowing Your Family History

Thursday, March 15, 2012 8:31 AM
Tags: genetics

The field of Medical Genetics has seen tremendous advancements over the years and is greatly impacting the way healthcare is delivered. Despite this, one of the best “genetic tests” for guiding your personalized care and estimating risk is to know your family medical history.

By analyzing your family history, you can be alerted to an increased health risk whether it’s heart disease, cancer or another condition.  If the risk is high enough, changes in medical management or further testing may be indicated to help personalize one’s care.

Peter Hulick, MD, Medical Geneticist offers his advice on how to track your family history to personalize your healthcare:

  • Use a Family history tool—such as MyGenerations—to personalize medical care and simplify the recording process.
  • Provide complete, accurate information. Be sure to record the health condition and the age it occurred.
  • Complete your family history to span at least 3 generations (including siblings, aunts/uncles, parents and grandparents from both your maternal and paternal side).
  • Update information periodically to include new health conditions.
  • Review information with your healthcare provider. Determine with your physician if further follow-up is necessary.

Do you have a family history of health conditions? How many generations of health information do you know?