Delivering a Healthy WA
Office of Population Health Genomics  

Family Health History

Family History is Important to Your Health!

Families share many things, including genes, environment and lifestyle, that can all contribute to getting a disease. In most cases, having a family history is not enough to cause a disease, but it can combine with lifestyle (e.g. diet, inactivity, smoking) or environmental factors (e.g. sun exposure) to increase your risk of certain diseases. For some diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers, knowing if they tend to “run in the family” can be a sign that you are more at risk and should be more careful about your health in these areas.

You can’t change your genes, but if you are aware of your family’s health history, you can reduce your risk of getting some conditions by choosing a healthy lifestyle and having regular screening tests e.g. screening mammography for breast cancer detection

Australian Better Health Initiative: A joint Australian, State and Territory government initiative.