Dr. Oz: What to Know About Your Family's Health History
The key to preventing future illness might be found in your family tree.
Illustration: Richard Mia
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When was the last time you broke a bone?
This question may seem random, but nearly half of all women and a quarter of men over 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. If two or more relatives showed symptoms of bone loss before age 55, you'll be nearly 8.5 times more likely to suffer from it yourself, according to one study. Because osteoporosis is considered a "silent" disease, you might not know you have it until it leads to injury. With the right information, however, it's largely preventable, especially if you start safeguarding early on. Though you should routinely wear sunscreen, I tell my patients to get their weekly dose of bone-strengthening vitamin D by spending no more than ten minutes in the sun without it at least three times per week.
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.