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Monday, July 14, 2008

Am I at risk of developing diabetes?

Researchers don't fully understand why some people develop type 2 diabetes and others don't.
It's clear that certain factors increase the risk, including:

  • Weight. Being overweight is a primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin.

  • Inactivity. The less active you are, the greater your risk of type 2 diabetes. Physical activity helps you control your weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.

  • Family history. The risk of type 2 diabetes increases if a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.

  • Race. Although it's unclear why, people of certain races are more prone to developing diabetes- Indians are at the greatest risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

  • Age. The risk of type 2 diabetes increases as you get older, especially after age 45. Often, that's because people tend to exercise less, lose muscle mass and gain weight as they age. But type 2 diabetes is increasing dramatically among children, adolescents and younger adults.

  • Gestational diabetes. If you developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later increases. If you gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds, you're also at risk of type 2 diabetes.
    Developing diabetes also puts you at greater risk of developing Heart Disease and Stroke.

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