Why Is It Important To Know My Family Medical History?

In fact, model organisms with mutations that extend lifespan have a healthy life also when they are old. This suggested that health span extension could be attained by targeting the genes, which had been highlighted to be involved in life extension in both model organisms and humans . Thus, dietary restriction can trigger a molecular-genetic response which postpones aging and age-related phenotypes. This has brought to search for drugs or interventions which may act on these mechanisms without the side effects of calorie restriction.

This has brought to elaborate important strategies focused on possible interventions to improve lifestyle in order to increase the chance to attain longevity by modulating the basic molecular mechanisms of aging. Healthy aging and longevity in humans are modulated by a lucky combination of genetic and non-genetic factors. Family studies demonstrated that about 25 % of the variation in human longevity is due to genetic factors.

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One of the main questions in this field is the correlation between the genetic background and lifestyle in determining the individual chance of a delayed aging (possibly without age-related diseases and disabilities) and longevity. The results obtained by biogerontologists in these years, which highlighted most of the biological and biochemical mechanisms involved in the aging process, allowed to better understand such correlation.

  • Many public health and health care interventions focus on changing individual behaviors such as substance abuse, diet, and physical activity.
  • Researchers are confronted with tough trade-offs among competing concerns in selecting and specifying determinants they think relevant in demand models.
  • Positive changes in individual behavior can reduce the rates of chronic disease in this country.

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Among the most important interventions which have been considered in this context, we may name the protein restriction, the use of drugs targeting different genes of IGF-1 axis or of the FOXO/TOR pathway . In addition, these studies have allowed to reconsider previous data on some areas characterized by exceptional longevity which are characterized by traditional ipoproteic diets, such as the “Mediterranean diet” [50–53]. In these cases, then, the environment, that is the traditional diet, has allowed to stimulate the molecular mechanisms which can increase life span. Knowing one’s family medical history allows a person to take steps to reduce his or her risk. For people at an increased risk of certain cancers, healthcare professionals may recommend more frequent screening starting at an earlier age.

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Healthcare providers may also encourage regular checkups or testing for people with a medical condition that runs in their family. Additionally, lifestyle changes such as adopting a healthier diet, getting regular exercise, and quitting smoking help many people lower their chances of developing heart disease and other common illnesses. A family medical history can identify people with a higher-than-usual chance of having common disorders, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, certain cancers, and diabetes. These complex disorders are influenced by a combination of genetic factors, environmental conditions, and lifestyle choices. A family history also can provide information about the risk of rarer conditions caused by mutations in a single gene, such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease.