Objectives: We examined the role of family history of diabetes in awareness of diabetes risk factors and engaging in health behaviors.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 1122 African American adults without diabetes who were participants in Project DIRECT (Diabetes Interventions Reaching and Educating Communities Together).
Results: After adjustment for age, gender, income, education, body mass index, and perceived health status, African Americans with a family history of diabetes were more aware than those without such a history of several diabetes risk factors: having a family member with the disease (relative risk [RR]=1.09; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.03, 1.15), being overweight (RR=1.12; 95% CI=1.05, 1.18), not exercising (RR=1.17; 95% CI=1.07, 1.27), and consuming energy-dense foods (RR=1.10; 95% CI=1.00, 1.17). Also, they were more likely to consume 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day (RR=1.31; 95% CI=1.02, 1.66) and to have been screened for diabetes (RR=1.21; 95% CI=1.12, 1.29).
Conclusions: African Americans with a family history of diabetes were more aware of diabetes risk factors and more likely to engage in certain health behaviors than were African Americans without a family history of the disease.