Diabetes Risk Factors


Know the risk factors for different types of diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an immune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake). Risk factors for type 1 diabetes are not as clear as for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Known risk factors include:

  • Family history: Having a parent, brother, or sister with type 1 diabetes.

  • Age: You can get type 1 diabetes at any age, but it usually develops in children, teens, or young adults.

In the United States, White people are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes than African American and Hispanic or Latino people. Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes You’re at risk for type 2 diabetes if you:

  • Have prediabetes.

  • Are overweight.

  • Are 45 years or older.

  • Have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes.

  • Are physically active less than 3 times a week.

  • Have ever had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or given birth to a baby who weighed over 9 pounds.

  • Are an African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, or Alaska Native person. Some Pacific Islanders and Asian American people are also at higher risk.

If you have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease you may also be at risk for type 2 diabetes. You can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes with proven lifestyle changes. These include losing weight if you’re overweight, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular physical activity. Prediabetes You’re at risk for prediabetes if you:

  • Are overweight.

  • Are 45 years or older.

  • Have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes.

  • Are physically active less than 3 times a week.

  • Have ever had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or given birth to a baby who weighed over 9 pounds.

  • Are an African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, or Alaska Native person. Some Pacific Islander and Asian American people are also at higher risk.

You can prevent or reverse prediabetes with proven lifestyle changes. These include losing weight if you’re overweight, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular physical activity. The CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program can help you make healthy changes that have lasting results. Gestational Diabetes You’re at risk for gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant) if you:

  • Had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy.

  • Have given birth to a baby who weighed over 9 pounds.

  • Are overweight.

  • Are more than 25 years old.

  • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes.

  • Have a hormone disorder called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

  • Are an African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander person.

Gestational diabetes usually goes away after you give birth, but increases your risk for type 2 diabetes. Your baby is more likely to have obesity as a child or teen, and to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Before you get pregnant, you may be able to prevent gestational diabetes with lifestyle changes. These include losing weight if you’re overweight, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular physical activity.

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