March 26, 2018

Use this tool to collect and store your family’s health history with ease

Maybe you share your mother’s eye color and your grandfather’s hairline. From stories to lifestyles to that beloved banana pudding recipe, families share lots of things. But did you know that health conditions and genetic diseases can also be shared within your family?

A family health tree tracker can help. Talk with your parents and other relatives to find out about their health, then use this tool to record and store your family’s health history. The more you know about your history, the more you can be proactive about certain conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a useful family history should show:

  • Three generations of your biological relatives
  • The age at a diagnosis
  • The age and cause of death of deceased family members

Visit the U.S. surgeon general’s My Family Health Portrait to fill out a family health tree tracker and share it with the ones you love. Then, print it out and bring it to your next doctor’s visit to help determine which tests and screenings are necessary to keep you and your family safe.

Does cancer run in your family? Learn more about hereditary cancer risk and Vanderbilt’s specialized clinic.