Does "IT" Really Run in the Family??

August 09, 2013


Portrait Of Extended Family Group In ParkWhen it comes to my family health history, I have to admit I'm pretty clueless. It's not because I don't ask questions. It's because no one wants to talk about it. I absolutely dread filling out paperwork when I see new a doctor because it reminds me of how much I don't know when it comes to what illnesses may or may not be hereditary, which makes it pretty difficult when I'm attempting to explain some incessant ache or tick. Not only that, it doesn't give the physician a starting point when trying to diagnose my symptoms. However, you can count on someone mentioning a family member's sickness and saying, "Well, it just runs in the family." (mostly when we walk about diabetes, high blood pressure and being big boned....*insert side-eye*). I'm pretty sure the lack of sharing health information is something that has passed on from generation and is more out of habit rather than actually wanting to withhold information. After all, we know that this information is key to early detection, prevention and treatment of many diseases that are prevalent among the African-American community. That's why I'm loving UnitedHealthcare's focus on taking the "secrecy" out of our family's health history. On Wednesday, August 28 at 12:30 EDT, UnitedHealthcare will host a webinar titled, "Why It's Important for African Americans to Know Their Family Health History" led by Wyndolyn C. Bell, MD, FAAP and Vice President of Health Care Strategies at UnitedHealthcare and Gina Paige, President and Co-Founder of African Ancestry, Inc. UnitedHealthcare's medical director will discuss how this information can help your doctor determine your risk factors for certain diseases, offer you preventive measures and give you treatment that is suitable for your specific needs.You will also hear from the co-founder and president of African Ancestry who will discuss the importance of knowing your ethnic and cultural background using genetics. You can get more information about the webinar and sign-up here.  Be proactive about your health, as well as your family's health and start talking and sharing!!    

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