Risk factors


Type 1 Diabetes

The risk factors for type 1 diabetes are still unknown. However, having a family member with type 1 diabetes slightly increases the risk of developing the disease. Environmental factors , consumption of certain food before four months of age (like gluten), exposure to some viral infections , other autoimmune diseases have been linked to the risk of developing type 1 diabetes.


Genetics

Having a family history of type 2 diabetes, always puts one at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Your risk for diabetes is higher if your mother, father or sibling has diabetes. This risk increases as the number of relatives with diabetes increases.


Ethnicity

Diabetes happens more often in Hispanic/Latino Americans, African-Americans, Native Americans, Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Alaska natives. Studies have shown that being an Asian puts you at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and at younger age when compared with people of European ancestry even at a lower BMI.


Age

The risk of type 2 diabetes increases with as one gets older. This may be because one tends to increase weight because of over nutrition, sedentary life style and stress. The risk for type 2 diabetes increases especially after 40 years of age. Although you can't change your age, you can work on other risk factors to reduce your risk. Now a days, type 2 diabetes is also increasing dramatically among children, adolescents and younger adults.


Unhealthy Diet

Unhealthy eating habits, excessive nutrition and a diet rich in sweets and fats leads to overweight which is the most common risk factor of development of type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet is high in fibre and low in fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar. Also it is good to focus on portion size--how much you eat is just as important as what you eat.


Obesity

It is one of the top reasons for developing type 2 diabetes. Due to increasing obesity, a growing number of young people are developing diabetes. The more overweight you are, the more resistant your body is to insulin.


Physical Inactivity

The less active you are, ups your risk of developing diabetes. Physical activity helps you control weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.


Emotional Stress

For people with diabetes, both physical and emotional stress can take a greater toll on health. In stress, blood sugar levels rise. Stress hormones like epinephrine and cortisol kick in since one of their major functions is to raise blood sugar to help boost energy when it's needed most. More emotional stress worsens the glyacaemic control in people with diabetes.

International Diabetes Federation. www.idf.org
International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Diabetes Atlas. 7th Edition 2015.

Marianna Virtanen. Psychological Distress and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in High-Risk and Low-Risk Populations: The Whitehall II Cohort Study. Diabetes Care 2014 Aug; 37(8): 2091-2097




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1. Estimated from IDF 7th Atlas 2015
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