Type 2 Diabetes: Causes and Risk Factors

The exact underlying cause of diabetes remains a mystery, though the question is the subject of extensive scientific study. What researchers do know is that both genetics (family history) and environment (such as excess weight and inactivity) appear to play significant roles.

The diabetes risk factors

The typical profile for a person with type 2 diabetes looks like this:

  • Age 45 or older
  • Overweight
  • Sedentary
  • Has a family history of the disease

People with these additional conditions are also at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease 

Most likely to get type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs more frequently in certain ethnic groups:

  • African Americans
  • Latin Americans
  • Asian and Pacific Island Americans
  • Native Americans

Sarah Henry

Sarah Henry has covered health stories for most of her more than two decades as a writer, from her ten-year stint at the award-winning Center for Investigative Reporting to her staff writer position with Hippocrates magazine to her most recent Web work for online sites, including WebMD, Babycenter. See full bio

over 4 years, said...

thank you for type 2 diabetes info. robert

over 4 years, said...

prevention is better than cure.this will definitely help in taking certain measure to get away from this silent killer disease.

over 4 years, said...

My husband has type 2 diabetes, was first diagnosed approximately 25 years ago. He is not overweight, follows a proper diabetic diet, monitors his blood sugar regularly, and sees his physician every four months. However, he is now becoming forgetful about eating and taking his medications. From what I have learned here at caring.com and other sources, I fear that he is on a downward spiral to Alzheimer's or Dementia. Since our moving to an assisted living community brings on such a violent NO from him, I have at last persuaded him to accept in-home care--which I, suffering from various forms of arthritis and back stenosis, also need.

about 6 years, said...

Everything ! My friend, Dave, drinks about a dozen cups of coffee per day, right up 'till bedtime & sleeps like a baby ! He's 72 & has no health problems ! I've no diabetes at 66, but am HIV+. My health is generally pretty good, tho. I only drink ( usually ) 1 cup per day. Thanks for the info on diabetes ! Peace ----------------------------------------------------------- Mike.

over 6 years, said...

i find going on my netbook takes my mind away from all that is wrong with me...i can only use one finger and comment on various sites to keep my mind working..i was told by the hospital 2o years ago i had to accept looking at t.v. and a nice picture...i said no way..i am bedbound but have set up a office using light zipped plastic folders dealing with various things that need attending to..i am an appointee for all my husbands affairs...i was a cleaning addict and everything in its place now its organised chaos but i can still function....

over 7 years, said...

helpful to all

over 7 years, said...

thanks for articls