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What Are Some Common Risk Factors for Diabetes?

Dean Stone

IHS Pharmacy & Gifts

Metter, Georgia


One of the most common disease states that patients encounter is diabetes. It affects millions in the U.S. yearly. Diabetes is when your body either does not make enough insulin (type 2) to control your blood sugar or makes no insulin at all (type 1). You can improve some risk factors for diabetes, but others cannot be changed.

Modifiable risk factors which can be improved include:

  • Weight: Being overweight or obese increases the chance of having diabetes. It is recommended to lose 5-10% of your body weight to decrease the risk.

  • Physical activity: It has been shown that just a 30-minute walk five days a week decreases the chance of having diabetes and heart disease. Each patient should aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity.

  • Smoking/alcohol use: It is recommended to stop the use of any alcohol or smoking.

  • Diet: It is recommended to follow a heart-healthy diet with fruits and vegetables with less red meats, carbohydrates, and sweets.

Non-modifiable risk factors are:

  • Age: Most patients who have type 1 diabetes are born with it. However, type 2 diabetes most commonly occurs in adults age 40 or greater, although it is being seen in younger adults now.

  • Family history: You are at increased risk for having diabetes when a close relative has diabetes.

  • Race: Patients who are of African American, Asian American, Latino/Hispanic American, or Native American descent are at an increased risk for developing diabetes.

  • Gestational diabetes: Patients who develop diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk for diabetes later on in life.

It is important to know these risk factors for diabetes and to improve your health!


The views and opinions expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily represent that of Better Health & Wellness Pharmacy. The content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat any health condition and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health professional.

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