Achieving utility with family history: colorectal cancer risk

Am J Prev Med. 2003 Feb;24(2):177-82. doi: 10.1016/s0749-3797(02)00591-3.


Family history of chronic disease is rapidly becoming a research tool for targeting participants at increased risk. Its current usefulness in clinical practice remains unknown. This paper details the possible utility and complications in using family history in a primary care setting, using colorectal cancer risk as the health issue. Where available, we cite data to support the issues that could arise. Where there are no studies, we invite further research. The potential of family history as a health improvement tool is still under review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Family*
  • Genetic Testing
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Medical History Taking*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Primary Health Care
  • Primary Prevention
  • Risk Factors