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2: Size Up Your Situation

Assess Your Current and Future Health Conditions

What health conditions are you experiencing and what can you expect in the coming years? Knowing health conditions that run in your family can help you plan for health-related costs.

The U.S. Surgeon General suggests taking these steps to discuss health history with family members:

  1. Make a list of relatives.
  2. Prepare questions to focus your discussions and keep a record of answers.
  3. Find a mutually convenient time to talk, explaining what you are doing and why.
  4. Focus on one question at a time, respecting others’ feelings about what they want to share.
  5. Update as family members are born, diseases develop or relatives pass away so you can share this valuable information with other family members.

Create a Family Health Portrait

Check out My Family Health Portrait, the U.S. Surgeon General’s online tool to help you trace illnesses in your family. Save and update this record to share with doctors and other family members.

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