Family Health History Initiative

What is family history? Family history is the unique combination of shared family genes, environment, behaviors and culture. Why should you learn more about your family's health history? A family health history can:

  • Help you learn about increased risk for developing certain diseases or condition
  • Point out behaviors (smoking, inactivity) or environmental exposures (secondhand smoke, farm chemicals) that may be increasing your risk for disease
  • Identify appropriate screening tests (genetic testing, mammography, colonoscopy, blood pressure checks) that may detect problems early

The U. S. Surgeon General's Family Health History Initiative has developed a family health history tool that can help you collect information about your family health history. U.S. Surgeon General's Family Health History Initiative. This website offers two different types of tools - one in a downloadable electronic form that you can put on your own computer and update as needed, or hard copy forms in English or Spanish that you may print off to use.

The Genetic Alliance also offers family health history tools on their website that are customizable for different communities and cultures.

The resources on this page can help you get started in determining you and your family’s health history.