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Diabetes Information

About Diabetes
What causes Diabetes
Do you have Diabetes?
Are you at risk for Diabetes?
Screening for Diabetes
Complications of Diabetes
Treating Diabetes

Are you at risk for diabetes?

      There are still many unanswered questions about the development of diabetes and why some people are more at risk than others. Researchers agree that some lifestyle and other factors do increase the likelihood that an individual will develop diabetes.

Risk factors


Fully 80% of people who develop Type 2 Diabetes are overweight. Experts consider excess weight to be one of the most prevalent risk factors associated with the disease. The reason for this is because fatty tissue causes a resistance of the body's cells to insulin. Not only is excess weight itself a risk factor associated with the development of diabetes, but how that excess weight is distributed across the body also plays a role. Those individuals whose weight gain rests largely in the abdominal area are at increased risk. One of the first pieces of advice given to all those suffering from high blood glucose levels is to lose weight.


Those individuals with a parent or sibling with diabetes are more likely to develop the disease.

Inactive lifestyles

Those who exercise regularly are less likely to develop diabetes. Not only does active living contribute to weight loss, but it also uses the glucose present in the bloodstream. Exercise also builds muscle, which is where the most absorption of glucose occurs. Less muscle means that more glucose stays in the bloodstream.


The frequency of the development of Type 2 Diabetes increases with age, particularly after the age of 45. This is believed to be the result of decreasing physical activity associated with aging. For this reason, researchers are not surprised to see the incidence of diabetes rising sharply in people in their 30's, many more of whom live far less active lifestyles than in the past.


Researchers are unclear as to why some races appear to be more at risk for developing diabetes. The rate of diabetes is double that of the general population for blacks and Hispanics, and triple for American Indians. Type 1 Diabetes is more common in Caucasians and some European countries.

Read more from the National Institute of Diabetes. For Americans living with diabetes, the American Diabetes Association offers useful information, resources and support.

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