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Family Health History

Family Health History

A family history is a record of medical information about an individual and their biological family. Human genetic data is becoming more prevalent and easy to obtain. Increasingly, this data is being used to identify individuals who are at increased risk for developing genetic disorders that run in families.

Family Health History
Images and animations are courtesy of the National Human Genome Research Institute's Talking Glossary (http://www.genome.gov/glossary/).

Materials for Family Health History

Articles/Research

Family Health History

Description: Printable PDF booklets on recording your family's medical history and on how genes impact health

Family Health History and Diabetes

Description: Information and a quiz on family health history and risks for type 2 diabetes

My Family Health Portrait

Description: A tool for recording your family health history

Public Health Genomics: Family Health History

Description: Information on family health history and a listing of additional resources on this topic

Using Family History to Improve Your Health

Description: Information on assessing your risks for disease and improving your health

Teacher Resources

Health Family History Module (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Engage students in learning about family health history and the connection between genetics and health. Through this module students will understand basic information about common diseases and disease risk, assess personal risk, and devise ways to reduce disease risk.

Traits Activities (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Activities on genetic traits and disease risk, including traits bingo, inventorying common traits among your students, and tracking traits through three generations of ginger-bread people.

Your Family Health History - A DNA Day Activity (PDF 119.18 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: A PowerPoint presentation on using a pedigree to record your family health history

Video

Genomics: Towards a Healthier You

Description: A webcast presenting information on why genetics is important to health, plus information on genetic counseling as a career. The singer and performer T-Boz shares her personal story about living with sickle cell anemia as one example of genetic health issues.

Know Your Family History - Improve Your Health

Description: A video demonstration on how to use your family health history to assess your risks and identify ways to stay healthy

Pedigree

Articles/Research

Family History Resources

Description: Instructions on recording your family health history in a pedigree

Pedigree

Description: Information on pedigrees with illustration

Teacher Resources

Constructing a Pedigree (PDF 360.58 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson uses the Simpsons to introduce the utility of pedigrees in studying family health. Students then apply their knowledge by acting as genetic counselors to construct and analyze a pedigree based on a case study of new or perspective parents who are concerned about the health of their child. As homework, students also have the opportunity to apply pedigree construction to their own family health history.

Gene Puzzles (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this lesson, students will examine a fictional pedigree and determine which gene is responsible for a given trait

Health Family History Module (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Engage students in learning about family health history and the connection between genetics and health. Through this module students will understand basic information about common diseases and disease risk, assess personal risk, and devise ways to reduce disease risk.

Video

Introduction to Pedigrees

Description: A pedigree shows how a trait is inherited over several generations. Dr. Lisa Meffert explains why pedigrees are important, and the key factors scientists consider when studying pedigrees.