5 doctors weighed in:

What's family history most useful for in genetics?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Pediatrics - Developmental & Behavioral
4 doctors agree

In brief: Who, what, how

A 3- generation family history helps geneticists answer parents' questions, whether they have an affected child or are planning a pregnancy.
A "genogram, " (schematic drawing) shows the pattern of inheritance of the medical/ behavioral/ developmental problems in question, so the risk of other family members' developing the disorder ( now or in future generations) can be explained.

In brief: Who, what, how

A 3- generation family history helps geneticists answer parents' questions, whether they have an affected child or are planning a pregnancy.
A "genogram, " (schematic drawing) shows the pattern of inheritance of the medical/ behavioral/ developmental problems in question, so the risk of other family members' developing the disorder ( now or in future generations) can be explained.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Maulik Shah
A multi-generational family tree is important. Since it is difficult to obtain a complete medical history on each family member, particular focus needs to be placed on conditions that are heritable or follow known patterns of inheritance. Often, the family history is obtained with specific focus on the disease class of interest. For example, a more thorough family cancer history for cancer risk
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