Type 2 Diabetes (cont.)
What Increases Your Risk
Risk factors you can't change include:1
- Family history. If you have a parent, brother, or sister who has type 2 diabetes, you have a greater chance of developing the disease.
- Age. The risk for getting prediabetes and type 2 diabetes increases with age. And the number of children being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is increasing. Usually, children who get type 2 diabetes have a family history of the disease, are overweight, and are physically inactive.
- Race and ethnicity. African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders are at higher risk than whites for type 2 diabetes.
- History of gestational diabetes or having a baby weighing more than 9 lb (4 kg). Women who have had gestational diabetes or who have had a large baby are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
- Low birth weight. People who weighed less than 5.5 lb (2.5 kg) at birth are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
Risk factors you can change include:
- Being overweight. Staying at a healthy weight can lower your risk.
- Not getting enough exercise. Being active may help your body control blood sugar levels.
- Eating a diet that isn't healthy. Making healthy food choices is important to avoid diabetes.
Other health problems can put you at risk for type 2 diabetes. These are also linked to obesity and a lack of physical activity:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormone imbalance that interferes with normal ovulation.
- Metabolic syndrome, a group of abnormal physical findings related to the body's metabolism.
- Prediabetes. Having prediabetes means that you are at risk for type 2 diabetes. It's important to get treatment. If your fasting blood sugar levels are in the range from 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL, you are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes.1
If you're worried
You can take a test to find out your risk(What is a PDF document?) of getting type 2 diabetes. If you are at risk, you can discuss with your doctor how to make healthy changes in your life.