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Officials Encourage Health Discussion at Thanksgiving

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Officials are encouraging families to use Thanksgiving gatherings to discuss family health histories.

Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck is director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. He says heart disease, cancer, diabetes, sickle cell anemia and other common diseases can run in families.

Discussing health problems with blood relatives can help keep family members alert for signs of problems and stay healthy.

The most important relatives to consult are parents, brothers, sisters and children. Next are grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and others.

Questions should include whether the family member has a chronic disease such as high blood pressure or suffered other problems such as cancer or stroke. Questions about difficult pregnancies and current medications also shed light.

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