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Focus on Your Family’s Health History

Focus on Your Family’s Health History: The more you know about your family's health history, the better armed you’ll be to reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. In fact, beyond the serious consequences of diabetes itself, the disease can also increase your risk of stroke, heart attack and other major health problems.

An increased likelihood for developing many health conditions can be genetically passed down from one generation to the next, so if you have a blood relative with diabetes or heart disease, your risk for developing them is most likely significantly increased compared to those with no family history of these diseases. But while an increased risk for developing various diseases can be passed along to younger generations, so can healthy habits that will greatly benefit you and your family in the here and now, as well as equipping your children with healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Visit: www.americanheart.org to learn more.

Complete the family tree to learn more about your family's health history. Talk to family members listed there and track who lives or has lived with chronic health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Then, talk with your doctor or health care professional about what this means to you and others in your family and the steps beyond those mentioned on this site that might be taken to further reduce your risks.