Always ask the patient if they have or have had any serious illnesses. The precise details will depend on the clinical condition and the circumstances.
This gives a clue to any predisposition to any illnesses and may highlight specific concerns the patient may have about a certain disease.
Ask the patient what their parent(s) died from and at what age. If they have died, be sensitive to how the patient may feel about this. It is always important to acknowledge a death. You can say:
Then ask similar questions about brothers and sisters and children.