“Adoptees with a comprehensive family medical history have a lower health risk and better chance for a longer healthier life. Early diagnosis is a critical factor in health care and especially important for adoptees.” —Judith Land
To help focus attention on the importance of family medical history, the Surgeon General has declared Thanksgiving to be National Family History Day. Over the Thanksgiving holiday when families gather together to share a meal, Americans are urged to talk about, and to write down, the health problems that seem to run in their family. Health care professionals have known for a long time that hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, heart disease, sickle cell anemia and many other diseases are hereditary. Despite the increasing emphasis on diagnostic technology, many physicians perceive the medical history as the preeminent source of information with a much higher value in diagnosis than either the physical examination or laboratory and radiography information. Tracing the illnesses suffered by parents, grandparents, and other blood relatives helps doctors predict the disorders to which their descendants are at risk, prescribe early diagnostic measures, and recommend preventive actions to keep their children and grandchildren healthy.
Learning about family health history can help ensure a longer, healthier future and even save lives. Because family health history is such a powerful screening tool, the Surgeon General created a free website to help make it fun and easy for anyone to create a portrait of their family’s health. My Family Health Portrait is a secure tool that takes about 20 minutes to create. The tool can be shared with other family members, who can add their health information. The family health portrait is an informative tool to share with doctors and health care providers.
Genetics locked in our DNA provides valuable information about family medical history and knowledge of family medical history is a major benefit of open adoption. Children with complete pedigrees and direct knowledge of their biological antecedents have a distinct advantage over those who don’t. A thorough investigation of family medical heritage could save your life—but preparing a family health portrait is often a daunting task for children who are orphaned, fostered and adopted.
Judith Land, Author and Adoptee
adopción – antecedentes médicos familiares | Усыновление – семейной истории болезни