Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors

Diabetes riskAlthough there is no single cause, some factors can increase your diabetes risk.

Type 2 Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in Canada; each year there are more than 60 000 new cases. In fact nine out of ten people with diabetes have Type 2 Diabetes and one third of people living with diabetes are unaware that they even have the disease. Type 2 Diabetes can impact overall life expectancy, quality of life, and health care costs. Although diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in Canada, the good news is that it is preventable with healthy lifestyles decisions.

Source: Type 2 Diabetes. (2013). http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/health-sante/disease-maladie/diabete-eng.php

Diabetes Risk Factors

  • Age 40 or older – as you get older the risk of developing diabetes increases.
  • Sedentary lifestyle – exercise promotes the use of insulin in the body; the lack of physical activity leads to a higher risk of diabetes.
  • Overweight or Obese – being overweight causes a greater risk of developing diabetes; each pound over targeted weight makes a difference.
  •  Family history of diabetes – having an immediate family member (parent or sibling) with diabetes, increases your risks of developing diabetes.
  •  Insulin Resistance Syndrome – the insulin hormone regulates glucose in the blood. When a person with has insulin resistance, the body stops responding to insulin and the levels of glucose in blood increases.
  • History of gestational diabetes – Many studies have shown that women with gestational diabetes are more likely to get Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Giving birth to a baby that weighs more than 4kg (9 lb) at birth – delivering a larger baby can also be an indicator for diabetes.
  • High Body Mass Index Score (BMI) and Waist Circumference – a BMI score over 25 or a waist circumference over 40 inches in men and over 35 inches in women will act as risk factor for diabetes.
  • History of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart complications – any of these conditions are a predisposing risk factor for diabetes.
  • Member of high-risk ethnic group – Certain ethnic groups specifically individuals of Aboriginal, Asian, African, Hispanic, or South Asian descent are predisposed to developing diabetes.

Source: Am I at risk for type 2 diabetes? Taking Steps to Lower Your Risk of Getting Diabetes. (2014). http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/riskfortype2/