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Diabetes Educ. 2009 Sep-Oct;35(5):836-42. doi: 10.1177/0145721709341851. Epub 2009 Aug 20.

Knowledge about type 2 diabetes risk and prevention of African-American and Hispanic adults and adolescents with family history of type 2 diabetes.

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Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Houston, Texas



The purpose of this study was to assess type 2 diabetes knowledge, perceptions, risk factor awareness, and prevention practices among African American and Hispanic families with a history of diabetes.


Ninth and tenth grade Houston area students who had a parent who spoke English or Spanish and had a family history of type 2 diabetes were recruited. Student interviews took place during lunch. Parents were interviewed via telephone. Open-ended questions in the interview guide assessed knowledge of diabetes and risk factors, diabetes prevention practices, and perceived risk. Students reported dietary behaviors. Responses were recorded.


Interviews were conducted with 39 parents (95% female, 49% African-American, 51% Hispanic) and 21 ninth and tenth grade adolescents (71% female, 43% African-American, 57% Hispanic). The majority were overweight. Approximately one-half of both groups reported some knowledge of diabetes. The majority (74%) of parents correctly identified family history as a risk factor, but few adolescents responded correctly. Being overweight was identified as a risk factor by 26% of the parents and 10% of the adolescents. Losing weight was not acknowledged as a way to reduce diabetes risk. Sweetened beverage consumption consisted of 2 cans/day and 43% reported to have skipped breakfast.


Overall, there was a lack of knowledge about risk and prevention of type 2 diabetes among African American and Hispanic families at risk. From a public health perspective, there is a critical need for innovative prevention programs targeting families at risk for diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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