The Family Medical History: A Crucial Part of Good Health Care

One part of a consultation with a new healthcare provider is giving them a detailed family medical history. It’s not small talk; the family medical history contains important clues to your health, now and down the line.

Why is a family medical history important?

Many diseases, including arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even certain types of cancer are known to be more common in some families than others. Diseases and chronic conditions are often caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors — and families share both.

Tell your medical practitioner about any health conditions your relatives have had. This will enable them to provide you with better healthcare. First, they will be able to recommend ways to reduce your own risk of the condition. Also, they will know to keep an eye out for symptoms of specific problems that are common in your family.

What information is included in a family medical history?

In order to give the best possible medical history, you should know:

  • If any of your blood relatives, including siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, or uncles have had any chronic conditions or diseases
  • The age at which they were diagnosed with each condition
  • Their age and cause of death, if appropriate

How can I get the information required for my family medical history?

Most people don’t have all this information, so it might require some research. This might be as simple as asking family members, especially older family members. It might also be worthwhile to research family medical records and death certificates, especially if you suspect there are problems.

How should I store my family medical history?

Once you have gathered your family history, don’t rely on memory, or even on your doctor’s records. Write everything down so that you have easy access to it any time you need it.

You can use paper and pen or keep it on your computer, but if you want easy access to your information at all times, consider using the Surgeon General’s free web-based software. It’s called My Family Health Portrait, and this program not only helps you collect and store family history, it also allows you to send a partially completed medical history to other family members, so that they can fill in whatever information they have. Your information is not shared with anyone other than the people you choose.

You can access My Family Health Portrait here.

Whether a condition that runs in your family is genetic or not, it’s in your best interest to have as complete a family medical history as possible. Take the time to gather accurate information. It’s an important part of staying healthy.

At Laurel Bay Health and Rehabilitation Center, in Keansburg, NJ, we gather all the information necessary to ensure the best outcomes for our residents.

Our family -owned and -operated 123-bed facility, is tucked away in the quiet beach town of Keansburg, NJ at the Jersey Shore, within sight of Sandy Hook and the New York City skyline.

Our services include short-term rehab, long-term care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, hospice care, and respite care for those times when the caretaker needs to be taken care of.

We proudly provide the following specialty healthcare services: complex medical care management, intravenous (IV) therapy, wound care, enteral feeding, pain management, oxygen therapy, tracheostomy care, a dedicated pulmonary program, hospice care with private suites, a stroke rehab program, respiratory support, eye care, dental care, podiatry care, and psychological consults and counseling.

We pride ourselves on healing the entire patient through a holistic and individualized approach.

Our meticulous care planning helps us ensure that each and every resident receives the best in clinical care, support and unconditional love.

For over 25 years, we have been a staple of health and wellness, serving the members of our community and partnering with our local hospitals like Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, NJ and Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, NJ.

We provide a tailored program of physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as all types of specialized care under one roof.

Read our reviews on, wellness.comand to hear what our residents and their families have to say.

Or better yet, come see for yourself. Contact us to schedule a tour by clicking here or by calling (372) 787-8100.

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