November is National Family Health History Month
With the holidays drawing near, there’s no better time to talk with your loved ones about family health history. During health check-ups, patients are often asked about family history – but how much do you really know, and why is it so important? In honor of National Family Health History Month, the Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute wants to shed some light on the topic.
The best way to get started is to gather information about your family members, especially those who you know have a history of heart disease, stroke or venous insufficiencies. Here are four important questions to ask:
- At what age was your family member diagnosed with the disease?
- Has that family member been diagnosed with other serious diseases, such as cancer or diabetes?
- For relatives who have died, what was the cause and age of death?
- What is your family’s ancestry?
It’s important to remember that family history plays a vital role in your risk for heart disease and stroke. Additionally, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute reports that nearly half of those diagnosed with varicose veins have history of the disease in their family.
When you share your medical and family history with one of our 28 experienced cardiologists, we can help determine your risks for cardiovascular disease and decide whether further testing is necessary.