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How to trace your families health history

Updated on October 1, 2009

Hereditary diseases are passed on from one family member to another, from one generation to another. As children inherit the fathers blue eyes or brown hair, they can also carry their parent's diseases in the genes. Genes and chromosomes actually exist in pairs, and form at conception. These will form the traits in our children and their children.

Cystic fibrosis and Down syndrome are two of the most common diseases affecting hundreds of children. By tracing your family health, you could prevent your children from suffering the same fate.

There may have been learning difficulties, or birth defects through your family. Your doctor could also benefit from having details of all your families medical history.

Where do I start? Why not start with your immediate family, write down everything you know about yourself, husband, and your children's health. Do not leave anything off. Then think back to your life as a child. What operations, illnesses, diseases did your mother and father have. If it is too late to ask them, ask their doctor. You will need to explain why you need this information. Under the privacy act, some things are not available.

Finding this information could prevent the cancer or diseases before it is too late. If your grand parents had a stroke and your mother had one then it is almost certain to happen to their siblings. Prevention is better than the cure. Blood disorders can be traced back to our parents. Hemolytic anemia is a breakdown of red blood cells. Leukemia is another Blood disorder and can be cancerous. A simple blood test can normally detect these.

You could search through your family records for a Death certificate it will show the causes of death. You would then know if members of your family died from cancer, heart attack, or stroke.

Check out they have all the facilities to search the relative certificates you need.

This is another good site. Cyndi's list

This site is for the UK

By obtaining Death certificates, it will give you confirmation of why the person died. There is a charge of approximately thirty dollars to purchase them. This will depend on the currency of your country.

When you find all the information, make copies, and share them with the rest of your family. Ask them to add any other illnesses that you have not listed. Discovering an illness before it strikes is a great source of prevention


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    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      guest says, yes there are so many different illnesses. thanks for stopping by

      Jasonblair It is very very important, you never know just when someone may come down with an unkown disease and can go back through history and records may help them.

    • JasonBlairMBA profile image

      Jason Blair 

      10 years ago from Louisville, KY

      Compiling a personal health record for every member of your family in a central location is a great idea. This allows your family to have access to medications, conditions, and even living wills. This information can even save your life in an emergency.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Hemophilia is another disease that is genetic and runs through families. There are many problems with this disease that they are still working to solve. The problem at hand is the hemophilia community especially in Illinois. The hemophilia doctors, nurses, and social workers in many Illinois healthcare treatement centers are very abusive, harsh, cold, criminal-minded, uncaring, neglectful and too hard on patients. Patients depend on these doctors because because they want their medicine and to live and there aren't too many doctors available. Doctors are making the hemophilia patients have too many Emergency Room Visits and hospital and clinic visits when they can treat it at home most of the time. Doctors are trying to greedly make extra money off the patients and make them get extra ER visits and, unnecessary surgeries and other test that they do not need. Docotrs are prying on a few patients who they think are stupid and over billing them and making them come to the doctors a lot and not servicing a large variety of patients. The hemophilia doctors and nurses in Illinois need to be audited. They are out of date with their care, the doctors are tool old and do not study and their treatment is really too primitive and overblown and out of proportion to be dealing with needles, syringes and other intricate supplies. They need a new staff of more younger and experiences doctors and nurses. The doctors are grumpy and do not want you to page them or call them. The nurses are irritable and grumpy and do not want to be bothered and make the patients care difficult and uncomfortable because they do not want to work in the first place. They yell at the patients and cause them stress and emotional damage. They cause abuse in the patients families and the doctors and nurses also appear to be too overstressed with hemophilia and have a sickness theirself.These treatment centers for adults and children are mainly the problem: Children's Memorial Hospital, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, University of Illinois Hospital, Michael Reese Hospital, Cook County Stroger Hospital, Rush Presbyterian St. Luke Hospital, and Illinois Masonic Hospital- all in Illinois, seem to be the main problem Hemophilia Treatment Centers that need correction and improvement. The patients just cry all the time and then they make them go to a lot of clinic appointment and the doctors threaten them to look like they are perfect to make their reports look good and successful. They don't give them all the medicine they need. They experience many bleeds because the doctors won't give them their Factor to use at home. They try to get them in the Emergency Room then hospital so they can make more money of of them. Hemophilia medicine is very expensive and doctors get greedy off patients. They make them do extra strenuous activites so they will need more Factor from the doctors and the doctors can make more money. The are viewed as specimens and not human beings. The pressure is really bad on children and adults to be perfect and not get bleeds-to look perfect. No one is perfect-not even those who don't have hemophilia. The doctors and nurses are harsh and mean to patients when they get a bleed. It is just sad that they try so hard to live a normal life and these greedy doctors try to make them look bad to make a buck. They should have a heart for Hemophilia! The patients suffer from doctor's abuse. This is definately true in Chicago and Illinois treatment Centers. Hopefully they will resolve this problem soon and the people who have hemophilia can live a normal life.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      11 years ago from Northam Western Australia

    • MrMarmalade profile image


      11 years ago from Sydney

      This is a great hub with a lot of knowledge packed in

      Thank you

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      11 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Yes thats right. You can search for information on the net though. Its amazing how much you can find out about your rellies, crims, murderers, thieves. They all probably thought no one would know.

      They didnt know how wrong they were.

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      11 years ago from New Zealand

      Fascinating = I didn't know about these sites - both our parents died before my brother's kids were born and it drives his wife crazy that we don't know much of the family history inc medical - its not something you care about unless you have kids I think!


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