Diabetic Risk Factors

What are the risk factors for type 1 diabetes?

Researchers continue to work hard to find out what causes type 1 diabetes. It is known that having a family member (parent, sibling) with type 1 diabetes slightly increases the risk; however, definite risk factors are currently not known.

What are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes?

Anyone over the age of 40 should be tested for diabetes every three years. Anyone who has one or more risk factors should be tested more frequently and/or start regular screening earlier. Risk factors are:

  • Having a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes;
  • Being a member of a high-risk group (African, Arab, Asian, Hispanic, Indigenous, or South Asian descent; low socioeconomic status);
  • Having health complications that are associated with diabetes;
  • Having given birth to a baby that weighed more than four kilograms (nine pounds) at birth or having had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy);
  • Having been diagnosed with prediabetes (impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose);
  • Having high blood pressure;
  • Having high cholesterol or other fats in the blood;
  • Being overweight, especially if that weight is mostly carried around the tummy;
  • Having been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome;
  • Having been diagnosed with Acanthosis nigricans (darkened patches of skin);
  • Having been diagnosed with psychiatric disorders: schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder;
  • Having been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea;
  • Having been prescribed a glucocorticoid medication by a doctor.

The earlier you are diagnosed, the sooner you can take action to stay well – now and in the future. If you already have type 2 diabetes, your children, brothers and sisters are at risk. Urge them to be tested for diabetes.