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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Happy Family Health History Day!

    Thanksgiving is coming, and the Department of Health and Human Services wants citizens to mark the day by discussing history.  No, not Pilgrims, Native Americans, and how they came together as the Pilgrims thanked God for His blessings -- rather, your family health history:
Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak Declares Thanksgiving “Family Health History Day" 
As we celebrate the Nation’s 10th annual Family Health History Day this Thanksgiving, I encourage everyone to spend time talking with their family members about their health.  National Family Health History Day is a great opportunity to draw attention to the importance of sharing family health history. 
Both rare diseases and common ones, like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, can run in families. Understanding your family health history can help you and your health care provider predict your risk for health problems and keep you and your family healthy. 
    As mentioned above, this is the 10th annual observance, so it cannot be chalked up to an Obamacare plot to hijack a religious holiday, as tempting as that is.  George Bush was president in 2004 when Obamacare was just a gleam in Senator Max Baucus's eye. (Think of it more like changing the smoke alarm batteries on your birthday.)  That being said, it didn't stop Acting Surgeon General Lushniak from sneaking in an Obamacare reference:
If someone in your immediate family—mother, father, sister or brother—has heart disease, you have twice the risk of developing heart disease as someone without that family history. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, many preventive screenings are now covered under health insurance with no cost share for Americans.
    On second thought, perhaps the mention of Obamacare is entirely appropriate.  After all, what  Thanksgiving is complete without the turkey?

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