Type 1 diabetes risk factors: The risk factors for type 1 diabetes are still being researched. However, having a family member with type 1 diabetes slightly increases the risk of developing the disease. Environmental factors and exposure to some viral infections have also been linked to the risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes risk factors: Several risk factors have been associated with type 2 diabetes and include:
- Family history of diabetes
- Unhealthy diet
- Physical inactivity
- Increasing age
- Having high blood pressure measuring 140/90 or higher
- Having abnormal cholesterol with HDL (“good”) cholesterol is 35 or lower, or triglyceride level is 250 or higher.
- Ethnicity (Being African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino heritage.)
- Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)*
- History of gestational diabetes
- Poor nutrition during pregnancy
Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) risks factors. This is a category of higher than normal blood glucose, but below the threshold for diagnosing diabetes. Changes in diet and physical activity related to rapid development and urbanization have led to sharp increases in the numbers of people developing diabetes.
Gestational diabetes risk factors. Pregnant women who are overweight, have been diagnosed with IGT, or have a family history of diabetes are all at increased risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus. In addition, having been previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes or being of certain ethnic groups puts women at increased risk of developing GDM.