Family Health History

Whether you are more or less likely to get cancer, diabetes, or other illnesses could be influenced by your family's medical history.

Your family's health history is a combination of genetic susceptibilities, shared environment and common behaviors of your parents and siblings.

The family's medical background reveals known risk factors for chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, coronary heart disease and certain cancers.

Knowledge of your medical history can result in improved health preventive techniques such as awareness of early symptoms, regular age-appropriate screenings, adoption of healthier lifestyle behaviors, enhanced health literacy skills and better communication with healthcare professionals.

The following websites provide ideas and techniques for gathering your family's health history:


  1. Rutgers
  2. Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  3. School of Environmental and Biological Sciences