The below is directly from...
U.S. Surgeon General's Family Health History
care professionals have known for a long time that common diseases - heart disease, cancer, and diabetes - and rare diseases
- like hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, and sickle cell anemia - can run in families. If one generation of a family has high blood
pressure, it is not unusual for the next generation to have similarly high blood pressure. Tracing the illnesses suffered
by your parents, grandparents, and other blood relatives can help your doctor predict the disorders to which you may be at
risk and take action to keep you and your family healthy.
To help focus attention on the importance of family history, the Surgeon General, in cooperation with other agencies with
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has launched a national public health campaign, called the Surgeon General's
Family History Initiative, to encourage all American families to learn more about their family health history.