Family history can be an important risk factor for asthma, diabetes and some forms of cancer and can be used to identify families with single-gene conditions. Some national clinical guidelines therefore highlight the importance of taking and recording a genetic family history.
A genetic family history consists of information describing:
This information is usually gathered by asking a series of questions about each member of the family in a systematic order and recording the information pictorially as a family tree (a pedigree).
1. Understanding genetic family history
Learn how to collect family history systematically and how to record it by drawing a pedigree
2. Genetic family history: check your knowledge
Test your understanding of pedigree symbols and family relationships
3. Genetic family history in practice
Observe family history taking in practice and practise drawing pedigrees