Family history (medicine)

From WikiMD free medical encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Template:Refimprove In medicine, a family history consists of information about disorders from which the direct blood relatives of the patient have suffered. Genealogy typically includes very little of the medical history of the family, but the medical history could be considered a specific subset of the total history of a family. Accurate knowledge of a patient's family history may identify a predisposition to developing certain illnesses, which can inform clinical decisions and allow effective management or even prevention of conditions.

Uses

Although sometimes neglected,[1] many healthcare professionals glean information on family morbidity of particular diseases (e.g. cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune disorders, mental disorders, diabetes, cancer) to assess whether a person is at risk of developing similar problems.

Family histories may be imprecise because of various possible reasons:

  • Adoption, fostering, illegitimacy and adultery
  • Lack of contact between close relatives
  • Uncertainty about the relative's exact diagnosis
  • In complex situations, a family tree or genogram may be used to organize the resulting information.

Some medical conditions are carried only by the female line such as X-linked conditions and some Mitochondrial diseases. Tracing female ancestors can be difficult in societies that change the woman's family name when she marries. Death records often give the maiden name of the deceased, and possibly also the deceased's mother’s maiden name. Some of the most useful records for tracing women are wills and probate records.

Other medical conditions are carried only by the male line, though these Y-linked conditions are rare owing to the small size of the Y Chromosome. Tracing male ancestors may be impossible if the conception is due to rape or sexual activity outside of a marriage.

Consequences

Not all positive family histories imply a genetic cause. If various members of the same family have been exposed to the same toxin, then they may develop similar symptoms without a genetic cause.

If a patient has a strong family history of a particular disorder (or group of disorders), this will generally lead to a lower threshold for investigating symptoms or initiating treatment. This is seen particularly in cardiac disease, where a strong family history is considered a significant cardiovascular risk factor.[2]

In diseases with a known hereditary component, many otherwise healthy people with a positive family history are tested early, with the aim of an early diagnosis and intervention to prevent the symptoms from developing. This has become accepted in hemochromatosis and various other disorders.

Definitions

Template:CMS Medical history types

References

  1. Rich E. C., et al. (2004) "Reconsidering the family history in primary care" in: J Gen Intern Med 2004;19:273-80. PMID 15009784.
Template:Medical records

World's largest food, health, wellness and weight loss encyclopedia

If you are a medical professional or an expert in any field of medicine, please join us in building the world's largest weight loss and wellness encyclopedia created by experts in the field, not by the crowd.



Support our sponsors

Locations for losing weight and sleeping better


Pennsylvania

North East Philadelphia


King of Prussia


New York


New Jersey

WikiMD Sponsors - W8MD Weight Loss, Sleep and MedSpa Centers

Pronounced weightMD, our state of the art W8MD weight loss, sleep, holistic IV nutrition and aesthetic medicine programs can help you not only to lose weight, and sleep better but also look your best! Since its inception in 2011, W8MD’s insurance physician weight loss program has successfully helped thousands of patients.

W8MD Weight Loss

W8MD’s Physician weight loss is unique in many ways with a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to weight loss. Weight Loss Success Stories....

W8MD Sleep Services

Sleep medicine program uses state of the art technology to diagnose and treat over 80 different sleep disorders. W8MD Sleep Services…

W8MD Medical Aesthetic Services

Medical aesthetic program offers a wide variety of advanced laser skin treatments including oxygen super facials, photofacials and Affordable Botox. W8MD Aesthetic Services…

IM and IV nutrition therapy includes booster shots for B12, vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, Detox treatments and IV nutrition therapy. W8MD IV Nutrition…

W8MD weight loss | Philadelphia medical weight loss | NYC medical weight loss | NJ medical weight loss

W8MD Weight Loss, Sleep & Medical Aesthetics

Intro to W8MD Weight Loss, Sleep & Medical Aesthetics


Disclaimer: The entire contents of WIKIMD.ORG are for informational purposes only and do not render medical advice or professional services. If you have a medical emergency, you should CALL 911 immediately! Given the nature of the wiki, the information provided may not be accurate and or incorrect. Use the information on this wiki at your own risk! See full Disclaimers.WikiMD is supported by W8MD Weight loss, Poly-Tech Sleep & Medical Aesthetic Centers of America.