What Are the Risk Factors for Diabetes

Diabetes is the term actually used for a group of metabolic diseases. In all of them the primary cause of high blood glucose is the absence or lack of insulin in the body. With the body being unable to produce enough insulin to digest the glucose in the blood the metabolism gets affected. This presence of high blood glucose is the identifying factor for diabetes. It is often detected with a simple blood test.

Types of diabetes

Before we consider the risk factors for diabetes we need to understand the different types of diabetes that exist. In type 1 diabetes the body does not produce any insulin on its own. This means that the diabetic must be injected with insulin regularly to deal with blood glucose.

risk-factors-for-diabetesIn type 2 diabetes the body produces insulin, but is unable to utilize it efficiently. This kind on insulin resistance is often triggered by lifestyle choices. The last type of the disease is gestational diabetes.

This affects pregnant women who are not actually diabetic, but develop high glucose levels during pregnancy. They are at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Risk factors for diabetes

Diabetes is the third most common disease in the world. The number of people being diagnosed with the disease is growing each year making it an epidemic. There are many risk factors for diabetes and these are enumerated below.

  • Obesity
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Unhealthy dietary habits
  • Genetic predisposition
  • High BP and cholesterol
  • Age


This is the most common amongst the risk factors for diabetes. The more you weight the more likely you are to develop diabetes. As per statistics from the National Center for Health in the US, 30% of obese adults are currently suffering from type 2 diabetes. This is the number one risk factor for developing this disease.

Inactive lifestyle

A sedentary and laid back lifestyle is also amongst the major risk factors for diabetes as it leads to being overweight and finally obese. Also exercise can help muscles become more receptive to insulin. So if you have resistance to the hormone you can overcome it to some degree by regular exercise.

Unhealthy dietary habits

Naturally if you do not eat right you will end up gaining weight. This again leads to obesity and then to diabetes. So developing healthy eating habits is a must in the battle against the disease.

Genetic predisposition

If there is a family history of the disease you are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. However having a parent or grandparent who has diabetes does not make you predisposed to developing the disease.

High BP and cholesterol

Related to a number of other diseases both high blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol will raise your risk level of developing diabetes.


The older you are the more likely you are to get the disease. As the pancreas which produces the hormone insulin can begin to malfunction with age related disabilities. So age also becomes a risk factor for diabetes.

Diabetes is an epidemic that affects all ages, genders, races and cultures around the world. Usciences online MPH degree gives students the education needed to help others manage this disease.