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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2012 May;96(2):156-62. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2011.12.017. Epub 2012 Jan 17.

Health beliefs among individuals at increased familial risk for type 2 diabetes: implications for prevention.

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  • 1Department of Health, Promotion and Development, School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.



To evaluate perceived risk, control, worry, and severity about diabetes, coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke among individuals at increased familial risk of diabetes.


Data analyses were based on the Family Healthware™ Impact Trial. Baseline health beliefs were compared across three groups: (1) no family history of diabetes, CHD or stroke (n=836), (2) family history of diabetes alone (n=267), and (3) family history of diabetes and CHD and/or stroke (n=978).


After adjusting for age, gender, race, education and BMI, scores for perceived risk for diabetes (p<0.0001), CHD (p<0.0001) and stroke (p<0.0001) were lowest in Group 1 and highest in Group 3. Similar results were observed about worry for diabetes (p<0.0001), CHD (p<0.0001) and stroke (p<0.0001). Perceptions of control or severity for diabetes, CHD or stroke did not vary across the three groups.


Among individuals at increased familial risk for diabetes, having family members affected with CHD and/or stroke significantly influenced perceived risk and worry. Tailored lifestyle interventions for this group that assess health beliefs and emphasize approaches for preventing diabetes, as well as its vascular complications, may be an effective strategy for reducing the global burden of these serious but related chronic disorders.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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