(NAPSI)—You may know that diabetes is a serious disease, but did you also know that it runs in families? That means if you have a mother, father, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes, you have a greater chance of getting the disease.

In the United States, diabetes affects more than 29 million Americans, or about 9 percent of the population. Also, it’s estimated that one in every four persons with diabetes is unaware that she or he has the disease. That’s especially troubling because if left undiagnosed or untreated, diabetes can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, amputation, and even death.

The good news is that understanding your family health history can help you take action now to prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes. The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), a joint program of the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, encourages you to use its Four Questions You Should Ask Your Family About Diabetes & Family Health History tool, which could help you learn more about preventing type 2 diabetes. Here are some key questions for family members to answer:

1. Does anyone in the family have type 2 diabetes? If so, who?

2. Has anyone in the family been told they might get diabetes?

3. Has anyone in the family been told they need to lower their weight or increase their physical activity to prevent type 2 diabetes?

4. Did your mother get diabetes when she was pregnant? This is known as gestational diabetes (GDM).

At YourDiabetesInfo.org, the NDEP has additional resources to help you and your family learn more about your risk for type 2 diabetes, including:

• 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: This quiz asks four true/false questions to help you better understand your family health history of diabetes.

In addition to family history, 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.

We want to help you—and your family—do all you can to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Visit YourDiabetesInfo.org to learn more today.

 

On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)