Family Health History

Family Health History Resources and Tools

Birth Defects Monitoring and Analysis

Collecting a family health history is a simple way of documenting health conditions that tend to run in families. Although it often is used to identify conditions that are hereditary, it also can be used to collect other familial features that impact health such as common behaviors and habits. Family history may be collected in many ways.

Below are links to some resources to help you collect and interpret your family health history.

  • CDC Family History Resources
    CDC Family History Resources: The following inventory is a compilation of family history tools. The list is not exhaustive but includes tools that were developed for the general public and are accessible through the Internet. New tools will be added as they become available.

  • Genetic Alliance Family Health History
    Genetic Alliance Family Health History: Family health history is the story of diseases that run in your family. It is one part of the entire history of your family. Along with culture, values, environment, and behaviors, family health history influences the way you live your life. Learning about your family health history can help you make healthy choices: it is a cheap, easy way to improve your own health and the health of your family. Share the information you gather with your healthcare provider to further reduce your risk of disease and create a partnership around your health.

  • It Runs In My Family Toolkit
    Using family history to improve your health. This is an early prototype for collecting family history in the form of a pedigree. You just answer the questions about your and your family's health and habits and it will draw your health family tree.

  • University of Minnesota: Genomics in Public Health Practice; Chronic Disease and Family History Fact Sheets
    Information on the role of family history in common, chronic diseases, tools to collect your family health history and some ideas of what you can do to reduce your risk of developing the common diseases such as heart disease and diabetes that may run in your family.

  • How to Share Your Family Health History Nowadays families have so many ways to communicate: photos through text, videos on social media, chatting online, etc. But even with so much connectedness, families can forget to communicate about an important topic: their health histories. With the holidays approaching, it's a wonderful time to begin that conversation. For many of us, this might be uncomfortable. Where do we start? What do we ask?