Saturday, May 5, 2007

Remember to take your family health history

A recent press release in recognition of National Women's Health Week reminds us to gather our family health history. Taking charge of your health is a recurring theme of National Women’s Health Week, which kicks off annually on Mother’s Day. It takes place May 13-19 this year.

“Women’s Health Week is a great reminder that we need to take time to care for ourselves,” said Jo Parrish, vice president of communications for the Society for Women’s Health Research.“No one knows your body, your health and your history better than you do. You have to stay informed and be engaged in the decision making process about your care to improve or maintain your health.”

Some studies show that you cannot rely on health care providers to have all the answers and to know all of your needs. A 2005 American Heart Association study revealed that only 8 percent of primary care physicians and 17 percent of cardiologists knew that heart disease kills more women than men.

But there are proven ways to protect yourself and safeguard your own health. Knowing your family’s medical history and sharing your history with your physician can go a long way. The article goes on to suggest five important screening tests for women. Next month, as Father's Day approaches, National Men's Health Week puts the spotlight on mens' health and important screenings for men.

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