Family History and Your Health

May 3, 2011 Updated May 3, 2011 at 9:10 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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May 3, 2011 Updated May 3, 2011 at 9:10 PM EDT

(WKBW/Cleveland Clinic) If you take a deeper look into your family tree, it will reveal a lot more than branches and names. Family health secrets may be locked inside.

Genetics experts say your family health history can reveal whether or not you're at risk for chronic diseases like cancers or heart disease.

Knowing your health history also allows you to take preventive steps and potentially ward off health problems through lifestyle changes and screenings.

Doctors say it's important to get good histories from both your mother and father and say it's not necessary to look back several generations.

Doctors say immediate family will usually give you an accurate snapshot of chronic disease.

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