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Research shows that family traits are not enough to be the cause of getting diabetes. Certain race, age, and lifestyle factors are also associated with higher rates of diabetes.
African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and other minority groups are most likely to have Type 2 diabetes, which makes up more than 90 percent of all diabetes cases. In 2010, the number of African American adults with diabetes was nearly twice the number of white adults with the disease.
Diabetes also touches many seniors in the U.S. A quarter of people over age 60 have it.
As part of or independent from race and age factors, lifestyle and health “disparities” can make some of the biggest differences in prevent, developing, and treating diabetes.
That could mean living in a rural setting far from health care or living in places were there aren’t many choices for care. Other examples may include not eating a healthy diet, and/or living in a ‘food desert’ community, where access to healthier food options may be challenging. Certain communities and/or living environments may make it harder or even unsafe to exercise.
Some steps can help people beat those challenges:
Research shows these changes can help people cut their chance of getting Type 2 diabetes by as much as 58 percent.
Originally published 12/29/2014; Revised 2019
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