Columbus, Ohio – What health secrets are hidden in your family tree? Experts believe that one of the best predictors of our future health is the health of our blood relatives.
But many people are not taking advantage of this information. Online tools can make it easier to assess your genetic past and potentially reduce your future risk.
Jerred Ziegler did everything in his power to stay healthy after watching multiple family members suffer from heart disease early in life.
“I didn’t think about it until my dad started having the same heart problems as my grandfather,” Ziegler said. Start thinking about how this affects you.”
Genetics play a more important role in the development of life-threatening diseases than many realize.
This may include genetic testing or additional screening, but the first step is to determine your risk.
The Family Health Risk Calculator was developed by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
“By understanding your family and family history and how your personal history affects genetic risk, you’ll be empowered to make decisions about your future,” says Elizabeth Jordan, genetic counselor at OSU Wexner Medical Center.
It is the only tool of its kind that uses personal and family health data to screen for cancer and heart disease risk.
The tool then uses advanced algorithms to determine whether you are at higher risk for specific types of cancer and heart disease that are known to be genetically linked.
The latest version also allows you to update the calculator as more information is gathered.
“Let’s say two years later, another family member has cancer or a heart attack, and you can go back and add additional information and update your evaluation,” says Kevin Sweet, a genetic counselor at OSU Wexner Medical Center.
The results can then be shared with your doctor.
“I think it’s very easy to avoid those health issues that you don’t want to face yourself, but eventually, it catches up to you,” Kevin Sweet said. “So I think it’s really important to be proactive about it so you don’t have These are the questions.”
Over the next few years, experts hope to expand the online tool to include risks for more diseases known to have a strong genetic component, such as brain and eye disorders.
Click here to view the Family Health Risk Calculator.
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