Risk factors for diabetes

Note that even if all the risk factors are present in the same person it doesn't mean that they will certainly develop diabetes.

It is important to have a good understanding of the risk factors associated with diabetes, that is, the circumstances that make it more likely that diabetes will develop. Knowing these risk factors can help you make a diagnosis, especially of Type 2 diabetes, and introduce treatment at an early stage. The main risk factors for Type 2 diabetes are listed below:

  • A family history of diabetes (genetic factors).
  • Being overweight or obese; the distribution of body fat also appears to be important, with fat around the abdomen seen as more of a risk than fat hips.
  • Lack of exercise.

There is some indication that a virus infection in early childhood might lead to Type 1 diabetes in some cases; the theory is that the virus in some way causes the person's own immune system to destroy the insulin-producing cells in their pancreas.

Last modified: Tuesday, 15 July 2014, 7:06 PM