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The following content was created by WebMD and is part of an educational collaboration between WebMD and The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health.

Learn your family's health history. It can help your doctor choose the screening tests that might be right for you.

It's most important to talk to your parents, brothers and sisters, and your own children. But you might also want to talk to your grandparents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, half-brothers and half-sisters, and cousins. Ask questions like:

  • How old are you?
  • Do you or did anyone in our family have any long-term health problems, like heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, or lung disease?
  • Do you or did anyone in our family have any health issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or asthma?
  • Does anyone in our family have any other serious illnesses, such as cancer, stroke, Alzheimer's/dementia, or osteoporosis?
  • How old were they when they were diagnosed?
  • Are their illnesses under control? How are/were they treated?

Also ask questions about other relatives, such as:

  • What countries did our relatives come from?
  • Did our late relatives have health problems? What were the issues and when were they diagnosed?
  • How old were they when they died?
  • What were the reasons for their deaths?
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