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Oregon Health Authority Encourages Families to Discuss Their Health History Over Thanksgiving Dinner

Britt Selvitelle/Flickr

For some people, the holiday dinner table serves as the lectern for political debate. For others, it’s just a place to catch up. As KLCC’s Deonna Anderson reports, an Oregon agency wants families to discuss their health histories on Thanksgiving.

The Oregon Health Authority suggests three questions. First, what specific disease runs in your family? What side of the family and how many people has it affected? Genetics coordinator Summer Lee Cox explains.

“Nine of the top ten causes of death in Oregon have a genetic component to them so family history can tell a big piece of the story,” she says.

Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are conditions that can run in families. OHA says knowing your history can help with reducing your risks.

“Unfortunately, we’re connected in disease but we can also be connected in health,” Cox says.

Cox suggests families can exercise together and try to eat more healthily. That might mean leaving the butter out of the mashed potatoes.

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