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IDOT Thanksgiving Family Health History Day

Thanksgiving is Family Health History Day

              Knowing your risks today can lead to a healthier
              tomorrow

              SPRINGFIELD – As many families gather for
              Thanksgiving, the conversation often drifts toward
              talking about traits and characteristics that run in
              their family, such as eye and hair color.  This year,
              Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr.
              LaMar Hasbrouck encourages families to also talk
              about health conditions that run in the family as
              part of the Nation’s 10th annual Family Health
              History Day.

              “Diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer
              can run in families,” said Dr. Hasbrouck.  “While you
              can’t change your family health history, you can take
              steps to reduce your disease risk.  Knowing your
              family health history can help you and your health
              care provider predict your risk for health problems
              and identify screening and treatment options.  It is
              also a good time to talk with your family about
              health insurance and coverage of many inherited
              health conditions under the Affordable Care Act.”

              Under the Affordable Care Act (visit
              www.GetCoveredIllinois.gov), many preventive
              screenings will be covered, allowing health care
              providers to diagnose health problems in the early
              stages when they are easier to treat.

Topics you can ask your closest family members about
              (those related by blood) include:
              • Birth defects and childhood health problems
              • Any common adult diseases (heart disease, diabetes,
              stroke, cancer, arthritis)
              • Age at death
              • Cause of death

              For more information about sharing family health
              history, go to
              http://www.idph.state.il.us/HealthWellness/family_history.htm.
Another resource is the Surgeon General’s My Family Health Portrait, a
              free and easy way to record family health information
              that can be shared with family members and health
              care professionals.

              Encouraging families to learn their health aligns the
              Illinois Department of Public Health with its
              strategic plan to become the state’s public health
              authority, a place where Illinoisans can turn for
              health information and education.  For a copy of the
              strategic plan, go to
              http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/StrategicPlan_Final_2014-2018.pdf.
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              This e-mail is a service of the State of Illinois.
              If you have any questions about this e-mail or the
              attached document, please contact the Illinois Office
              of Communication and Information (IOCI), Room 611,
              Stratton Office Building, Springfield, Illinois
              62706, (217) 558-1548.

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