Why Is A Medical History Important? -
Occasionally you hear of a person who has lived
a very unhealthy lifestyle, they smoked, drank
excessively, ate poorly, and had terrible exercise
habits yet lived to be 90+ years-old. Even though
death and disease may seem like random events,
research has identified numerous risk factors for
such conditions. Lifestyle is one of the most
important risk factors for disease and death.
Another risk factor is medical and family history.
Heredity, Family, and Disease - Many serious diseases run in families. If one of your immediate family (parent, brother, or sister) has had heart disease for example, then you are at increased risk for the same disease. Other diseases whose risk is increased by a family history are cancer, elevated lipids, obesity, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, alcoholism, emotional illness, and significant allergies. Generally, the more distant the relative who had a disease the less your risk.
If You Cannot Change Your Genes, Why Worry? - Knowing whether a relative had a disease is of great value. The knowledge can alert you and medical authorities to a potential problem. Often, simple precautions related to other lifestyle factors can reduce your risk. Screening tests can also be performed more regularly.
A variety of medical and dental screenings should be performed regularly, especially if you are at increased risk because of your family history.