Information for Patients
Your family history includes health information about you and your close relatives. Families have many factors in common, including their genes, environment, and lifestyle. Looking at these factors can help you figure out whether you have a higher risk for certain health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
Having a family member with a disease raises your risk, but it does not mean that you will definitely get it. Knowing that you are at risk gives you a chance to reduce that risk by following a healthier lifestyle and getting tested as needed.
You can get started by talking to your relatives about their health. Draw a family tree and add the health information. Having copies of medical records and death certificates is also helpful.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Osteoporosis is a disease that thins and weakens the bones. Your bones become fragile and break easily, especially the bones in the hip, spine, and wrist. In the United States, millions of people either already have osteoporosis or are at high risk due to low bone mass.
Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but it is more common in older women. Risk factors include
- Getting older
- Being small and thin
- Having a family history of osteoporosis
- Taking certain medicines
- Being a white or Asian woman
- Having low bone density
Osteoporosis is a silent disease. You might not know you have it until you break a bone. A bone mineral density test is the best way to check your bone health.
To keep bones strong, eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, exercise, and do not smoke. If needed, medicines can also help. It is also important to try to avoid falling down. Falls are the number one cause of fractures in older adults.
NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases