Family history

Jump to navigation Jump to search

WikiDoc Resources for Family history


Most recent articles on Family history

Most cited articles on Family history

Review articles on Family history

Articles on Family history in N Eng J Med, Lancet, BMJ


Powerpoint slides on Family history

Images of Family history

Photos of Family history

Podcasts & MP3s on Family history

Videos on Family history

Evidence Based Medicine

Cochrane Collaboration on Family history

Bandolier on Family history

TRIP on Family history

Clinical Trials

Ongoing Trials on Family history at Clinical

Trial results on Family history

Clinical Trials on Family history at Google

Guidelines / Policies / Govt

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse on Family history

NICE Guidance on Family history


FDA on Family history

CDC on Family history


Books on Family history


Family history in the news

Be alerted to news on Family history

News trends on Family history


Blogs on Family history


Definitions of Family history

Patient Resources / Community

Patient resources on Family history

Discussion groups on Family history

Patient Handouts on Family history

Directions to Hospitals Treating Family history

Risk calculators and risk factors for Family history

Healthcare Provider Resources

Symptoms of Family history

Causes & Risk Factors for Family history

Diagnostic studies for Family history

Treatment of Family history

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

CME Programs on Family history


Family history en Espanol

Family history en Francais


Family history in the Marketplace

Patents on Family history

Experimental / Informatics

List of terms related to Family history

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Synonyms and Keywords: FH


In medicine, a family history consists of information about disorders that a patient's direct blood relatives have suffered from. Genealogy typically includes very little of the medical history of the family, but the medical history could be considered a specific subset of the total history of a family.


A family history of coronary artery disease is defined as the presence of coronary artery disease in a first degree relative < 60 years of age.


Although often neglected,[1] many doctors glean information on family morbidity of particular diseases (e.g. cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune disorders, mental disorders, diabetes, cancer) to appreciate whether a person is at risk for developing similar problems. Use of a genogram can be helpful in a family history, which is in the format of a family tree.

Family histories may be imprecise because of various possible reasons:

  • Adoption or illegitimacy
  • Lack of contact between close relatives
  • Uncertainty about the relative's exact diagnosis

In complex situations, a family tree may be necessary to cover the necessary aspects.


Not all positive family histories imply a genetic cause. If various members of the same family have been exposed to the same toxin, then they may develop similar symptoms without a genetic cause.

If a patient has a strong family history of a particular disorder (or group of disorders), this will generally lead to a lower threshold for investigating symptoms.

In diseases with a known hereditary component, many healthy people are now tested early to prevent the symptoms from developing. This has become accepted in cystic fibrosis, hemochromatosis and various other disorders.


  1. Rich EC, Burke W, Heaton CJ, Haga S, Pinsky L, Short MP, Acheson L. Reconsidering the family history in primary care. J Gen Intern Med 2004;19:273-80. PMID 15009784.

Template:WikiDoc Sources