Who is at Risk for Diabetes?

Updated at: Nov 18, 2014
Who is at Risk for Diabetes?

There are many factors that increase the risk of diabetes. Some of them are modifiable while others are not.

Meenakshi Chaudhary
DiabetesWritten by: Meenakshi ChaudharyPublished at: Aug 11, 2011

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease in which the defects in the insulin production or function cause high blood sugar levels in the body. When we eat food, the pancreas releases insulin hormone to move glucose from blood into the cells. The sugar starts to build up in the blood when the insulin is not used properly by these cells or if the body is not able to make enough insulin. The build up sugar in the blood over flows in to the urine and passes out of the body.


Some of the factors which increase the risk of developing diabetes are modifiable while others are not modifiable. Factors that increase the risk of diabetes include:


The risk of developing type 2diabetes is more in obese people. Obesity increases insulin resistance, as fat affects with the body's ability to use insulin. Obesity increases the risk of diabetes in children as well.


Sedentary Lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle is responsible for the growing obesity problem and type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise or any other physical activities is considered adequate for healthy living. Physical activity decreases insulin resistance thereby lowers blood sugar levels and helps in maintain healthy body weight.

Unhealthy food

Unhealthy Eating Habits

Eating unhealthy foods leads to obesity.Eating a healthy and balanced diet which has a variety of foods from each major food group, can prevent diabetes or improve control of blood sugar in diabetes patients.

Family History and Genetics

The exact contribution of heredity or genetics in diabetes is not well understood. But it is well known that certain genetic variations are responsible for increasing risk of developing diabetes.. People with a family history of diabetes are at higher risk of development of diabetes. Certain races such as African Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. But changes in lifestyle can decrease your risk of developing diabetes even if you have a persistent family history of diabetes.

Increased Age

It is true that the risk of diabetes increases with age. However, by adopting a healthy lifestyle you can decrease your risk of developing diabetes with increase in age.

High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol

Both these conditions increase the risk of several diseases such as heart attack, stroke and diabetes. By adopting a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating habits you can decrease high blood pressure and high cholesterol and thereby prevent the risk of diabetes.

History of Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes indicates the type of diabetes that pregnant women develop. The risk of type 2 diabetes in the future is increased in women with a history of gestational diabetes.

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Read more articles on Diabetes Causes and Risks


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