The risk factors for type 1 diabetes are still being researched. However, having a family member with type 1 diabetes slightly increases the risk of developing the disease.
Several risk factors have been associated with type 2 diabetes and include:
- Family history of diabetes: Increase risk if a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes
- Overweight: Excess fatty tissue cause leads to insulin resistance.
- Unhealthy diet
- Physical inactivity: Physical activity helps to control weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes cells more sensitive to insulin.
- Increasing age
- High blood pressure
- Ethnicity: People of certain races — including blacks, Hispanics, American Indians and Asians — are at higher risk
- Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT)*
- History of gestational diabetes
- Poor nutrition during pregnancy
*Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) is a category of higher than normal blood glucose, but below the threshold for diagnosing diabetes.