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Who's at risk for diabetes?

Journal Staff Report | 11/18/2017, 7:33 a.m.
Here's how you find out if you are at risk for diabetes.

You’re at risk for developing prediabetes if you:

  • Are overweight
  • Are 45 years or older
  • Have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
  • Are physically active less than 3 times a week
  • Have ever had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
  • Are African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, or Alaska Native (some Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans are also at higher risk)
  • You can prevent or reverse prediabetes with simple, proven lifestyle changes such as losing weight if you’re overweight, eating healthier, and getting regular physical activity.

Type 2 Diabetes

You’re at risk for developing type 2 diabetes if you:

  • Have prediabetes
  • Are overweight
  • Are 45 years or older
  • Have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
  • Are physically active less than 3 times a week
  • Have ever had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
  • Are African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, or Alaska Native (some Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans are also at higher risk)

You can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes with simple, proven lifestyle changes such as losing weight if you’re overweight, eating healthier, and getting regular physical activity.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an immune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake). Risk factors for type 1 diabetes are not as clear as for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Known risk factors include:

  • Family history: Having a parent, brother, or sister with type 1 diabetes.
  • Age: You can get type 1 diabetes at any age, but it’s more likely to develop when you’re a child, teen, or young adult.

In the United States, whites are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes than African Americans and Hispanic/Latino Americans.

Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes

You’re at risk for developing gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant) if you:

  • Had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy
  • Have given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
  • Are overweight
  • Are more than 25 years old
  • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Have a hormone disorder called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Are African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander

Gestational diabetes usually goes away after your baby is born but increases your risk for type 2 diabetes later in life. Your baby is more likely to become obese as a child or teen, and is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life too.

Before you get pregnant, you may be able to prevent gestational diabetes by losing weight if you’re overweight, eating healthier, and getting regular physical activity.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention