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What Increases Your Risk?

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.

  • Last Edited 03/31/2019