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Diabetes Health Center

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12 Things That Make Type 2 Diabetes More Likely

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You're more likely to get type 2 diabetes if:

1. Diabetes runs in your family. If you have a parent, brother, or sister who has it, your chances rise. But you can take action through everyday lifestyle habits, like exercise and healthy eating, to lower your odds of following in their footsteps.

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2. You have prediabetes. That means your blood sugar level is above normal but you don't have the disease yet. To keep it that way, get more active and lose any extra weight. Your doctor may recommend you take the prescription drug metformin.

3. You're not physically active. It's never too late to change that. Check in with your doctor first, so you know what's safe for you to do.

4. You're overweight, especially around your waist. Not everyone with type 2 diabetes is overweight, but extra pounds make you more likely to get the condition. Belly fat seems to be particularly risky.

5. You've had heart disease.

6. You have high blood pressure.

7. Your "good" cholesterol level is low. It's too low if it's less than 35 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter).

8. Your triglyceride level is high. It's too high if it's over 250 mg/dL.

9. You've had diabetes during pregnancy before. That condition (called gestational diabetes) or delivering a baby over 9 pounds can make you more likely to get type 2 diabetes.

10. You're a woman who has PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).

11. You're 45 or older. The chance of getting type 2 diabetes rises with age. But diabetes isn't a normal part of aging.

12. You're Hispanic, African-American, Native American, or Asian American. Diabetes is more common among these groups of people.

Talk with your doctor to get a better sense of your risk. He can help you make a plan that will keep you in good health.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on October 22, 2014
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