Several things can make someone more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. For example:
- Being overweight or obese—the more weight you carry, especially around your midsection, typically the more resistant your body is to insulin
- Having high blood pressure generally or during pregnancy (called preeclampsia)
- Eating an unhealthy diet that is high in fat, calories, cholesterol and processed food
- Not exercising regularly
- Being older than 45, although it can occur in younger people
- Having a parent, brother or sister who has diabetes
- If you are a woman, a few more factors can increase your risk:
- Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes
- Up to 3 out of 5 women who had this during pregnancy will go on to develop diabetes within 15 years
- Giving birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds
- Having polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
Type 2 diabetes is also more common among certain ethnic or racial groups including African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders.
It's important to talk with your health care professional about all your personal risk factors.