Having a family history means that a person has one or more
blood relatives with a certain health problem. A doctor can look at a person's
family history to get some idea of the person's risk for that health
Blood relatives include relatives who are alive and those
who have died. They may be:
First-degree relatives (parents, sisters,
brothers, and children).
Second-degree relatives (aunts, uncles,
nieces, nephews, and grandparents).
Third-degree relatives (first
Some family histories are stronger than others. How strong
a family history is depends on:
How closely related a person is to the
relatives with the health problem.
How many relatives had or have
the health problem.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.