Who is at risk for diabetes?

Type I diabetes
The number of people who develop type 1 diabetes is increasing. The reasons for this are still unclear, but may be due to changes in environmental risk factors and/or viral infections. The disease can affect people of any age, but it usually starts in children or young adults.

Type 2 diabetes
Although the exact causes for the development of type 2 diabetes are still unknown, there are several important risk factors:

  • excess body weight
  • physical inactivity
  • advancing age
  • poor nutrition
  • ethnicity
  • family history of diabetes
  • history of gestational diabetes (diabetes that developed during pregnancy).

The number of people with type 2 diabetes is growing rapidly worldwide. This rise is associated with aging populations, economic development, increasing urbanization, less healthy diets and reduced physical activity.1




1. IDF Diabetes Atlas (7th Ed.) (2015). Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation.




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