How does my family history affect my health?

When you think about your family history, the first thought that may come to mind is your grandfather’s stories from being deployed or how your grandmother met her future partner. While it’s important to pass down personal family stories to keep the history alive, it is equally important to have knowledge of your family medical history.

A complete family medical record would include three generations of health information. This includes your parents, their parents, your aunts and/or uncles, their children and your siblings. It is crucial you are informed of key health concerns prevalent in your family – such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer types. The more aware you are of health concerns, the quicker you can seek preventative care if signs and symptoms begin to develop. 

Common diseases or disorders that have a higher probability of being shared include heart disease, different types of cancers, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. The development of these conditions is greatly influenced by your genetic makeup and environmental influences. If you didn’t know, not only do you share a genetic makeup with your parents and immediate family members, you also tend to share similar lifestyle choices. 

As you collect a familial health record, it is important to note at what age the conditions or diseases occurred or when signs and symptoms started. If it’s difficult to narrow down, an estimated age range is better than no information at all.

Still have questions about your family health history? Speak with your primary care provider about what conditions you may be at risk for based on your personal health information.

UofL Physicians – Primary Care offers multiple practice locations including both Family Medicine and Internal Medicine physician and providers. Family Medicine physicians are devoted to providing comprehensive health care for the individual and family across all ages, genders, diseases and parts of the body. Visit our website for more information and the services we provide.

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About Tamea Evans, M.D.

Dr. Tamea Evans is a native of Flint, Michigan. She has lived in Kentucky since 1995. After being a stay-at-home mom, she ventured back into school to study medicine. She is a practicing internal medicine physician and a practicing diabetologist (a physician, including endocrinologists, whose practice is concentrated mainly in diabetes care. She received her undergraduate degree from Kalamazoo College in Health Sciences in 1993. She attended the University Of Kentucky College Of Medicine earning her Doctorate of Medicine degree in 2003. She further trained at the University of Kentucky and the Christ Hospital in Cincinnati for her Internal Medicine residency and internship, respectively. Her goal is to provide quality comprehensive care to adult patients. Her interests include Comprehensive Primary Care, Women’s Care and Diabetic Health. She is an active community leader. She is a charter member of the recently re-established Falls City Medical Society where she serves as chapter secretary. She also serves on the Louisville Chapter of the NAACP Health Committee. She serves as a member of the Health and Human Services Facet for the Louisville Chapter of the Links, Incorporated. In her spare time, she enjoys public speaking, community service and spending time with her family. Her current practice is with the University of Louisville Physicians Group in the West End of Louisville, Kentucky. She is has been married to her husband, Rodney for 25 years. They have two adult daughters, one son plus two beautiful grandchildren.

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