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Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors

Do you have health risk factors for type 2 diabetes? The incidence of type 2 diabetes has doubled over the past three decades, according to the Framingham Heart Study. Although the causes of type 2 diabetes are unknown, there are some key risk factors. These health risk factors can increase your chances of getting this increasingly common type of diabetes.

It is estimated that 70 to 80 million Americans have insulin resistance syndrome -- a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Once you learn more about insulin resistance, you may want to initiate some of the recommended lifestyle changes that can help decrease your chances of getting this serious problem.

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Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors

A person with some or all of the following listed health risk factors may never develop type 2 diabetes. However, the latest medical findings show that the chances of getting type 2 diabetes increase the more health risk factors you have:

  • A family history of diabetes. If a parent or sibling in your family has diabetes, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases.
  • Age over 45. The chance of getting type 2 diabetes increases with age.
  • Race or ethnic background. The risk of type 2 diabetes is greater in Hispanics, African-Americans, Native Americans, and Asians.
  • Metabolic syndrome (also called insulin resistance syndrome).
  • Being overweight. If you are overweight, defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25, you're at higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Also, fat around the waistline as opposed to fat in the buttocks and legs is a risk factor.
  • Hypertension.High blood pressure increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Abnormal lipid levels. HDL ("good") cholesterol levels under 35 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) and/or a triglyceride level over 250 mg/dL increases your risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • History of gestational diabetes. Getting diabetes during pregnancy or delivering a baby over nine pounds can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Impaired glucose tolerance (see glucose tolerance test)


Other health risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Ann Edmundson, MD, PhD on July 17, 2012
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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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