A small percent of our DNA — roughly 0.5% — differs.Within that 0.5% are the genes that influence our risks for various health conditions and diseases.
Grateful to have survived this typically lethal heart condition, Jones heeded a voice he heard when he was in the ICU. ” With the help of a genetic genealogist, he did, and he discovered that heart disease runs — gallops — in his family, having killed an uncle at age 52 and both of his maternal grandparents, his grandmother at 65 and his grandfather at 71.
Jones’ story illustrates why having a family medical history is essential.
If you are one of the older members of your family, you may know more about diseases and health conditions in your family, especially in relatives who are no longer living.
Be sure to share this information with your younger relatives so that you may all benefit from knowing this family health history information.
But until you’re able to know more about the potential issues that may be a part of your family’s legacy, DNA testing may be the only path you can take to improve your awareness of your genetic risks and minimize them.
For most humans, the bulk of our DNA is sequenced similarly.Talk to your doctor about when to start screening and what other steps to take to prevent the disease or find it early.Finding disease early can often mean better health in the long run.On an October day in 2016, Adrian Jones set out on what was for him a common pastime — a strenuous mountain bike ride with friends.Midway up a steep grade, Jones — who by all appearances was fit and healthy — began experiencing alarming symptoms including extreme fatigue, nausea, lightheadedness, and, ultimately, chest pain.Knowing about your family health history of a disease can motivate you to take steps to lower your chances of getting the disease.You can’t change your family health history, but you can change unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, not exercising or being active, and poor eating habits.Did you know that Thanksgiving is also National Family History Day?Even if you don’t have a parent or sibling with cancer or diabetes, you might be more likely to get a disease if other people in your family have or had the disease.His friends rushed him to Marin General Hospital, oddly the same place where the adoptee had been born almost 47 years earlier.There, he was diagnosed as having had a “widowmaker” heart attack, his left anterior descending artery having been 100% occluded.