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By the National Diabetes Education Program
Many serious diseases run in families, including diabetes. If you have a mother, father, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes, you have a higher chance of getting the disease. If left undiagnosed or untreated, diabetes can lead to serious health problems including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, amputation, and even death.
Understanding your family’s history of diabetes can help you take action now to prevent or delay the development of this serious disease. Other risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being overweight or obese, physically inactive, and over the age of 45. Diabetes is also more common in African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders.
The NDEP has tools that you can use to learn more about your risk for type 2 diabetes and steps you can take to delay or prevent this disease. Visit YourDiabetesInfo.org to find some of the following:
• Diabetes Risk Test. This tool asks simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. Prediabetes means that the sugar in your blood is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes.
• NDEP’s Family Health History Quiz asks four true/false questions to help people better understand their family health history of diabetes.
• NDEP’s 4 Questions You Should Ask Your Family about Diabetes and Family Health History offers ways to help you talk with your family about your family’s history of diabetes.
Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by losing a small amount of weight (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person) – and becoming more active. Action steps include making healthy food choices and being active at least 30 minutes, five days a week.
If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, NDEP has resources to help. Take the first step to make lifestyle changes to improve your health with NDEP’s Just One Step online tool. Download or order NDEP’s Small Steps. Big Rewards.Your GAME PLAN to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes booklet. You can also call 1-888-693-NDEP (6337) or visit www.YourDiabetesInfo.org for more information on preventing type 2 diabetes.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the support of more than 200 partner organizations.