DM2 Risk Factors: Family History
The risk of developing type 2 diabetes in patients with a family history (any first-degree relative) increases by 2-3 fold for developing diabetes. The level of risk increases to 5-6 fold increased risk in patients who have both a maternal and paternal history of type 2 diabetes. Additionally research has revealed that when diabetes mellitus type 2 is diagnosed at a younger age, for example less than 50 in the parents there is an increased risk for developing diabetes mellitus type 2 based on the age of diagnosis of the affected parent. The significantly increased risk is believed to be a combination of genetic, anthropometric in terms of increased body mass index and waist circumference, and environmental factors.
Family history of diabetes mellitus type 2 creates great concern amongst those with a positive family history. This concern is derived from the experience of seeing loved ones succumb to the complications of diabetes itself. This includes seeing the increased number of hospitalizations, the end-organ damage, and the day to day struggle of attempting to maintain control of the sugars.
Diabetes mellitus type 2 is a preventable disease. Patients with a family history of diabetes mellitus type 2 are encouraged to actively seek diabetes prevention treatment. Further testing is available aside from fasting glucose measurements and hemoglobin A1c is to evaluate and detect the current level of risk that they are at in regards to developing diabetes themselves.
Prevention of diabetes not only results in an increased quality of life it provides patients that have family members with diabetes medical reassurance by eliminating the concern that they will develop diabetes mellitus type 2 themselves.
Patients with a family history of diabetes mellitus type 2, especially any family member that is affected that is a first-degree relative should obtain screening for prediabetes and diabetes mellitus type 2 as there are risk is significantly increased.
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