Risk Factors

The risk factors for type 1 diabetes are still being researched. However, having a family member with type 1 diabetes slightly increases the risk of developing the disease. Environmental factors and exposure to some viral infections have also been linked to the risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

Several risk factors have been associated with type 2 diabetes and include:

  • Family history of diabetes
  • Overweight
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Increasing age
  • Ethnicity
  • Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT)*
  • History of gestational diabetes
  • Poor nutrition during pregnancy
Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) is a category of higher than normal blood glucose, but below the threshold for diagnosing diabetes. Changes in diet and physical activity related to rapid development and urbanisation have led to sharp increases in the numbers of people developing diabetes.