To make your medical family tree, you need key pieces of information about your relatives. You should research at least as far back as your grandparents because a genetic predisposition to a certain disease may be masked in one generation but nevertheless passed on to succeeding generations. Key facts include date of birth and, if the person is deceased, cause of death and the age at which it occurred. If possible, you should find out about lifestyle factors, such as smoking, body weight, alcohol consumption, and exercise.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.