12 Risk Factors For Type 2 Diabetes You Must Know


Published on August 7th, 2018

Your chances of developing type 2 diabetes depend on a combination of risk factors such as your genes and lifestyle. Although you can’t change risk factors such as family history, age, or ethnicity, you can change lifestyle risk factors around eating, physical activity, and weight. These lifestyle changes can affect your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes

Read about risk factors for type 2 diabetes below and see which ones apply to you. Taking appropriate actions on the factors you can change can help you delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.

You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if:

  • You are overweight or obese
  • You are age 45 or older
  • You have a family history of diabetes
  • You are African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You have a low level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol or a high level of triglycerides
  • have a history of gestational diabetes or gave birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more
  • You are not physically active
  • You have a history of heart disease or stroke
  • You have depression
  • You have polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS
  • You have acanthosis nigricans—dark, thick, and velvety skin around your neck or armpits

These are the major 12 risk factors to help you understand if you can have a Type 2 diabetes.

What can I do to prevent type 2 diabetes?

You can take steps to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by losing weight if you are overweight, eating fewer calories, and being more physically active.

Type 2 diabetes

Talk with your health care professional about any of the health conditions listed above that may require medical treatment.

Managing these health problems may help reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Also, ask your health care professional about any medicines you take that might increase your risk.


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