Creating a Family Health History

Frequently Asked Questions

11. How should I approach family members to collect the information?

Your relatives will probably want to know why you want information about their health. You can explain that knowing what diseases run in the family can help family members take steps to lower their risk. These steps might include certain lifestyle changes, medical tests, or choices of medicines to take. Offer to share your health history when it is done. Encourage relatives to create their own health histories.

It's important to find the right time to talk about family health. Family get-togethers like holidays, vacations, and reunions might be good opportunities. Some people may prefer to share health information privately, in person or by telephone. You can also contact family members by mail or e-mail. Be sure to take notes or record the conversations with a tape recorder or video camera to help you remember.