Past Imperfect: How Tracing Your Family Medical History Can Save Your Life

Past Imperfect: How Tracing Your Family Medical History Can Save Your Life

by Carol Daus
     
 

Has anyone in your family ever suffered from depression? Alzheimer's? Breast cancer? Are you at risk? In Past Imperfect, author Carol Daus takes you step-by-step through the fascinating process of tracing your family medical history. In simple, easy-to-understand terms, Daus explains everything from how to interview your living relatives to how to find old

Overview


Has anyone in your family ever suffered from depression? Alzheimer's? Breast cancer? Are you at risk? In Past Imperfect, author Carol Daus takes you step-by-step through the fascinating process of tracing your family medical history. In simple, easy-to-understand terms, Daus explains everything from how to interview your living relatives to how to find old medical records.

You'll also see how easy it is to take advantage of recent scientific discoveries to prevent deadly diseases from striking you and your loved ones. And you'll be introduced to real people whose lives have been saved because of what they learned about their own family medical histories.

Past Imperfect features the names, addresses, and phone numbers of archives, genetic volunteer organizations, libraries, and genealogical societies from throughout the nation. It's a "must read" for anyone who cares about their health or the health of their family. Knowledge is power, and knowing your family medical history can save your life.

Editorial Reviews

Ancestry
The creation of a genogram (a family health tree), is essential for understanding family traits. Its creation is described, along with key symbols and tips for zeroing in on what is most critical. Primary sources that should contain information directly related to health issues are briefly discussed. They include federal mortality censuses, official certificates, obituaries, and detail from funeral homes and cemeteries.

Medical records such as hospital, doctors', and life insurance are also explained along with confidentiality concerns and other restrictions. A "Crash Course in Genetics" gives simple explanations of chromosomes, dominant and recessive genes, and multifactorial inheritance (the role of nature in the development of disease). A glossary of genetic diseases is followed by addresses for libraries and archives and genealogical and historical societies. The reader will learn how to get professional help and where to contact national genetic volunteer organizations.

This is a basic look at a complex subject that should concern everyone, not just genealogists.

Library Journal
Family medical history may play a major role in determining genetic predisposition to a particular illness. A freelance writer specializing in health issues, Daus became interested in this topic when she noticed patterns of heart disease and cancer within her own family. Here she offers a step-by-step genealogical guide to tracing the family health tree. Included are numerous resources for fact finding and professional assistance. She also provides a glossary of terms and explanations of common genetic diseases. D.L. Nelson-Anderson and C.V. Waters's Genetic Connections: A Guide to Documenting Your Individual and Family Health History (LJ 7/95) covers similar ground. Suitable for all public libraries.--Leila Fernandez, Steacie Science Lib., York Univ., Toronto
National Genealog Society Quarterly
The best chapters discuss medical resources and professional guidance in genetic matters-offering important and relevant assistance to the researcher. Also excellent is the section on seeking professional help, which simply and clearly outlines the various types of genetic testing and discusses the role of a genetic counselor . . . In a nutshell, Duas's book is designed for true beginners in both genealogy and family health history. -National Genealogical Society Quarterly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781891661037
Publisher:
Santa Monica Press
Publication date:
02/01/1999
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.39(w) x 8.37(h) x 0.64(d)

What People are saying about this

Family Tree Magazine
In this simple-to-follow guide, Carol Daus takes you step by step through the process of tracing your family medical history. Daus uses easy-to-understand terms and provides tons of resources for learning more about inheritable conditions.--(Family Tree Magazine)

Meet the Author


Carol Daus is a freelance writer who specializes in health and lifestyle issues. For the past twenty years, she has had articles published in a variety of consumer and trade magazines, including Health, Parenting, and Coping. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, she worked in Chicago and San Francisco as a writer for several national health organizations and large urban hospitals, including the American Heart Association, San Francisco Children's Hospital, and Medical Data International.

On a personal note, Ms. Daus became interested in the importance of family medical histories when her own extended family began to display unusually high patterns for heart disease and cancer. Daus, a concerned wife and mother, treasures the well-being of her family, and works diligently toward generating and maintaining a healthy household. She lives in Huntington Beach, CA, with her husband, Tony, and their three children.

Jeanne Homer is a genetic counselor for Genzyme Corporation in Cambridge, and is currently working with people who are considering undergoing genetic testing.

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