Your family tree holds a key to your health

Amricans are kindly asked to trace their family medical history, as one of the best way to ensure one’s longevity.

US health officials are asking Americans this Thanksgiving to try to find out what their family medical history is, as this can have a big impact on an individual's health and longevity. By tracing your family's medical history you will have a better idea what your own risks are for developing diabetes, stroke, heart disease and cancer, say experts, reports Medical News Today.

According to Reuters, while many people know their family's health can indicate possible problems with their own, "relatively few people have tried to collect it in an organized way," Carmona said, adding that common behavior, environments and cultures are also factors that influence health.

Such information is cheaper than costly &to=' target=_blank>genetic tests and can help patients seek preventive health screenings or get diagnosed earlier, officials said.

"Knowing your family's history can save your life," Carmona said.

It also helps doctors quickly asses their patients' medical needs without having to spend extra time asking about their background, said Francis Collins, head of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health.