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Angela Bassett wants to raise awareness for type 2 diabetes

The 61-year-old actress has teamed up with the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association for their Know Diabetes by Heart initiative.

US actor Angela Bassett. Picture: @im.angelabassett/Instagram.

LONDON - Angela Bassett wants to raise awareness for type 2 diabetes as her family has a history of contracting the condition.

The 61-year-old actress has teamed up with the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association for their Know Diabetes by Heart initiative, which aims to educate people on the causes and effects of type 2 diabetes, and the increased risk the condition can have on other health issues such as heart disease and strokes.

And Bassett has said her decision to join the initiative came has her family have a history of battling type 2 diabetes, including her late mother, who passed away five years ago following complications with her condition.

The Black Panther actress said: "[My mother's death] was really hard on the family. And since then, overlapping with that, her brother, the patriarch of our family, he also has type 2 diabetes, so it really is a family affair."

Those suffering from diabetes can help to reduce the risk of heart disease by living a healthier lifestyle, but Bassett said her mother was too stubborn to make big changes to her diet, which ultimately cost her her life.

She added: "Growing up in Florida, you know, Southern family and Southern cuisine - and she had a love affair with food. And so it was very, very difficult for her to change that ... she was stubborn. She was in touch with her doctors, but she was a little bit more obstinate - one of those personalities where 'don't tell me what to do.'"

And although Bassett herself doesn't suffer from diabetes, she makes sure to visit her doctor for regular checkups, and tries to live the healthiest life she can.

The _Otherhood _star told People Now: "Sometimes, you know, because my schedule is so busy, I find that if I don't have an opportunity to work out, I do have to be mindful of my diet. That period, overall. But especially if I can't find that time."

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