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Christian actress Angela Bassett opens up about losing mom to heart disease

Angela Bassett joins For Your SweetHeart in honor of her mom to urge people with type 2 diabetes and their loved ones to know their heart disease risk. (Credit: Lilly) Share (EEW Magazine News) Three years ago, award-winning Christian actress Angela Bassett mourned the loss of her mom who had Type 2 diabetes and died of heart disease.

In honor of the woman she calls “my sweetheart,” the “American Horror Story” star has joined the For Your SweetHeart campaign to urge people with diabetes to know their heart disease risk.

“Losing my mom was a wake-up call to start talking about the risk of heart disease with my family members who also have type 2 diabetes, like my uncle Ralph,” said Bassett.

Bassett, along with 11 leading patient and professional organizations, are promoting For Your SweetHeart: Where diabetes and heart disease meet, which is a nationwide movement to raise awareness of the critical link between type 2 diabetes and heart disease, the number one killer of people with type 2 diabetes.

“A lot of people don’t know that if you have type 2 diabetes you are at an increased risk for heart disease. For my mom, this knowledge came too late, and that’s why I joined For Your SweetHeart," continued the 58-year-old best known for her portrayal of legendary singer Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It.

Angela Bassett, whose mom had type 2 diabetes and died of heart disease, and her uncle, Ralph, share their personal connection with both conditions and urge others to know their heart disease risk. (Credit: Lilly)

She is now speaking up and urging those with type 2 diabetes to know their risk of heart disease, for the sake of their health and the people they cherish the most.

"I’ve had a heart-to-heart with my uncle about his risk and want to encourage those who have loved ones with type 2 diabetes to do the same, so they can understand their risk and talk to their doctor about taking action," she said.

“Through the For Your SweetHeart donation, we encourage people to sign up to learn more about the risk of heart disease while also giving back to advocacy organizations that are on the frontlines of educating and supporting people with type 2 diabetes and heart disease, along with their loved ones,” said Jean-Michel Boers, president, Human Pharma, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

“Nearly 30 million people are living with diabetes in the U.S., and many of them do not know they are at an increased risk of experiencing heart-related complications. It’s critical to have Angela Bassett and groups like these join our movement to reach the millions of Americans impacted by this public health crisis," he added.

For Your SweetHeart launched in November 2016 following a survey that found more than half (52 percent) of adults with type 2 diabetes do not understand they are at an increased risk for heart disease and related life-threatening events, like heart attack, stroke or even death.

To bridge this knowledge gap and raise awareness about this link, the campaign encourages people to learn about their risk through the Heart You Quiz and other resources on ForYourSweetHeart.com and to talk to their healthcare providers.

RELATED: Twin sisters and nurses share dual heart failure diagnoses

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