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When it comes to hypertension and disclosing a genetic issue, there is a certain level of ambiguity surrounding the impact of family medical history. A patient’s family history- including any genetic characteristics – can have an impact on their own health and even how they perceive their health. Therefore, it is critical that their healthcare provider be aware of a patient’s family medical history in order to provide effective care. This can best be accomplished by having an open relationship with the patient where they are willing to disclose this information, but unfortunately, this isn’t always possible.


Hypertension is a common medical condition that increases your risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. It can also lead to heart failure.

  • [Hypertension] is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • [Hypertension] affects more than 70 million people in this country.

Medical History

In addition to the medical history of hypertension, you should also ask about the family history of diabetes, stroke, heart disease, cancer and high cholesterol. Family members’ weight and body mass index can be an indication that someone is at risk for obesity or overweight. If any of your family members have smoked cigarettes or used alcohol heavily then this could increase your risk too.


As a provider, you have an obligation to inform your patients about genetic information that could affect their health. It is important that they understand the risks and benefits of testing. As a patient, you have responsibilities as well. You should know your family medical history so that you can make an informed decision about being tested for certain conditions. Once testing results are available, it is imperative that you understand what they mean and how they might affect your health in the future.

The healthcare provider must be aware of the patient’s family medical history to provide proper care for their hypertension.

The healthcare provider must be aware of the patient’s family medical history to provide proper care for their hypertension.

The family medical history is very important in helping the healthcare provider diagnose other diseases and find the right medication to treat the patient’s disease.


The conclusion is clear. In all populations, hypertension disclosure is a sensitive issue, and one that many patients avoid. However, it’s important to the long term health of their family members and therefore should be discussed.