Having a family history means that a person has one or more
blood relatives with a certain health problem. A doctor can look at a person's
family history to get some idea of the person's risk for that health
Blood relatives include relatives who are alive and those
who have died. They may be:
First-degree relatives (parents, sisters,
brothers, and children).
Second-degree relatives (aunts, uncles,
nieces, nephews, and grandparents).
Third-degree relatives (first
Some family histories are stronger than others. How strong
a family history is depends on:
How closely related a person is to the
relatives with the health problem.
How many relatives had or have
the health problem.
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.