Type 2 Diabetes: All in the Family?

If someone in your family has type 2 diabetes, does that mean you’re going to get it too? Not necessarily!

image of a large family

Type 2 diabetes does run in families, but not only because family members are related. Sometimes it’s because they share certain habits that can increase their risk.

Family history is just one of several risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Others include being overweight, having high blood pressure measuring 140/90 mm Hg or higher, and being physically active fewer than 3 times a week.

The good news is that a healthy lifestyle—including losing weight if needed and getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week—has been shown to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes even if one or more of your family members has it.

If you’re at risk, CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program can help you make lasting lifestyle changes to improve your health. You’ll work with a trained lifestyle coach and share experiences with others who have the same goals and challenges. Many who have taken the program say they have more energy, less stress, and better checkups.

But don’t take our word for it. Check out these stories from people who worked the program and saw results.

Find Out More

CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation
National Diabetes Prevention Program
Family Health History Quizexternal icon
Find a Diabetes Program Near You
Diabetes Features & Spotlights
Diabetes Basics
Managing Diabetes
CDC Diabetes on Facebook
@CDCDiabetes on Twitter

Page last reviewed: March 1, 2019