No matter how well you take care of yourself, there are things you can't control. Many diseases and chronic conditions are prevalent in some families, making it critical to know all you can about the health -- and health problems -- of your relatives.

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Since 2004, the surgeon general has urged Americans to learn their family's health history. With Thanksgiving and the holiday season approaching, you may be able to add to your knowledge at family gatherings. To make it easier, you can access the surgeon general's "My Family Health Portrait" tool at

To learn more about how your family's health history affects your health, Good Samaritan Hospital is presenting the seminar "What's in Your Genes" at Lindenhurst Library on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 6:30 p.m. To register, call 631-376-4444.