National Institutes of Health State-of-the-Science Conference Statement: Family History and Improving Health.Berg AO, Baird MA, Botkin JR, Driscoll DA, Fishman PA, Guarino PD, Hiatt RA, Jarvik GP, Millon-Underwood S, Morgan TM, Mulvihill JJ, Pollin TI, Schimmel SR, Stefanek ME, Vollmer WM, Williams JK. Ann Intern Med. 2009 Nov 2. [Epub ahead of print] Many common diseases have genetic, environmental, and lifestyle antecedents that family members share, and health care professionals in the United States have long used family history information collected from individuals as a risk assessment tool. In addition, most hereditary diseases have been elucidated through the study of families. A person’s family history has the potential to capture information about shared factors that contribute to that person’s risk for common diseases, such as diabetes, stroke, cancer, and heart disease. Family history is also used routinely in many other ways, including its well-defined use in determining who might benefit from genetic testing and its use in the interpretation of genetic test results.