Family History is Important for Your Health

Family history strongly influences a person's health status. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Public Health Genomics provides information for families who want to know how family history affects disease risk and how to use family history to promote health. This document is a reliable resource for Head Start families and staff to educate individuals about the benefits of learning the history of their family health.


 Most of us know that we can reduce our risk of disease by eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, and not smoking. But did you know that your family history might be one of the strongest influences on your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or cancer? Even though you cannot change your genetic makeup, knowing your family history can help you reduce your risk of developing health problems. Family History is Important for Your Health [PDF, 815KB]

Family History is Important for Your Health. HHS/CDC. n.d. English. [PDF, 70KB].

Last Reviewed: December 2008

Last Updated: January 8, 2015