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What are the Risk Factors for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

Risk factors for diabetes depend on the type of diabetes.

Risk factors for Type 1 Diabetes

Although the exact cause of Type 1 diabetes is unknown, factors that may signal an increased risk include:

·         Family History – Your risk increases if a parent or sibling has type 1 diabetes.

·         Environmental Factors – Circumstances such as exposure to a viral illness likely play some role in type 1 diabetes.

·         The Presence of Damaging Immune System cells (Autoantibodies) – Sometimes family members of people with type 1 diabetes are tested for the presence of diabetes autoantibodies. If you have these autoantibodies, you have an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes. But not everyone who has these autoantibodies develops diabetes.

·         Dietary Factors – These include low vitamin D consumption, early exposure to cow’s milk or cow’s milk formula, and exposure to cereals before 4 months of age. None of these factors has been shown to directly cause type 1 diabetes.

·         Geography – Certain countries, such as Finland and Sweden, have higher rates of type 1 diabetes.


Risk factors for Pre Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes

Researchers don’t fully understand why some people develop prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and others don’t. It’s clear that certain factors increase the risk, however, including:

·         Weight – The more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin.

·         Inactivity – The less active you are, the greater your risk. Physical activity helps you control your weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.

·         Family History – Your risk increases if a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.

·         Race – Although it’s unclear why, people of certain races — including blacks, Hispanics, American Indians and Asian-Americans — are at higher risk.

·         Age – Your risk increases as you get older. This may be because you tend to exercise less, lose muscle mass and gain weight as you age. But type 2 diabetes is also increasing dramatically among children, adolescents and younger adults.

·         Gestational Diabetes – If you developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant, your risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes later increases. If you gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms), you’re also at risk of type 2 diabetes.

·         Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – For women, having polycystic ovary syndrome — a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and obesity — increases the risk of diabetes.

·         High Blood Pressure – Having blood pressure over 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

·         Abnormal Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels – If you have low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol, your risk of type 2 diabetes is higher. Triglycerides are another type of fat carried in the blood. People with high levels of triglycerides have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Your doctor can let you know what your cholesterol and triglyceride levels are.