Time with family – especially extended family – is a holiday tradition. While there are many topics people avoid discussing during this time together, your health should not be one of them.
Specifically, your family health history. Many common conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer can run in families. Learning which health conditions you may be at risk for in the future can help you take preventive action today.
Start the Conversation
Check out these tips from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:
- Make a list of blood relatives – start with those in your immediate family and work outward.
- Prepare your questions – ask about chronic health conditions, both physical and mental.
- Find a good time to talk – aim for a relaxed environment, free from distraction.
- Keep a record – use a tape recorder, your smart phone, or take notes during the talk.
- Inform your primary care provider – work with your doctor to understand future steps.
This holiday season spend a little time learning about your family health history. It will be a gift you can give yourself and future generations.
Find out more about your health care benefits on the CalPERS website. To learn more about how to start the conversation with your family, view the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Family Health History section. Use their online tool “My Family Health Portrait” to record, save, and update information.