Family health history: underused for actionable risk assessment.
Family health history (FHH) is the most useful means of assessing risk for common chronic diseases. The odds ratio for risk of developing disease with a positive FHH is frequently greater than 2, and actions can be taken to mitigate risk by adhering to screening guidelines, genetic counselling, genetic risk testing, and other screening methods. Challenges to the routine acquisition of FHH include constraints on provider time to collect data and the difficulty in accessing risk calculators. Disease-specific and broader risk assessment software platforms have been developed, many with clinical decision support and informatics interoperability, but few access patient information directly. Software that allows integration of FHH with the electronic medical record and clinical decision support capabilities has provided solutions to many of these challenges. Patient facing, electronic medical record, and web-enabled FHH platforms have been developed, and can provide greater identification of risk compared with conventional FHH ascertainment in primary care. FHH, along with cascade screening, can be an important component of population health management approaches to overall reduction of risk.
Ginsburg, GS; Wu, RR; Orlando, LA
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