New Initiative from Genetic Alliance Aims to Increase Awareness of Family History

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Genetic Alliance, a non-profit health advocacy organization, has started an initiative to empower the public with regard to family health history, called Does It Run In The Family. Because family health history provides individuals and their health care providers with important information about disease risk, doctors advise patients to collect information from their family members. However, few patients actually collect and maintain this information

From Does It Run In The Family:

In 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did a survey of over 4,000 people. Ninety-seven percent (97%) thought that it is important to know your family health history. But only 30% had ever collected health information from their family members!…Genetic Alliance and partners created the Does It Run In the Family tool to help people collect their family health history information and share it with relatives and healthcare providers. The goal of the booklets is for individuals, families, and communities to use their new knowledge about family health history to increase their communication about health and become healthier people.

By helping patients know which questions to ask family members — and by putting information online and eliminating the need to send paper records back and forth — Does It Run In The Family aims to make collecting a family history a relatively painless part of the health care process.

Source: Does It Run In The Family

About the Author

Walter Jessen, Ph.D. is a Data Scientist, Digital Biologist, and Knowledge Engineer. His primary focus is to build and support expert systems, including AI (artificial intelligence) and user-generated platforms, and to identify and develop methods to capture, organize, integrate, and make accessible company knowledge. His research interests include disease biology modeling and biomarker identification. He is also a Principal at Highlight Health Media, which publishes Highlight HEALTH, and lead writer at Highlight HEALTH.