Who is at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. The cause of type 2 diabetes is largely unknown, but several risk factors have been associated with the disease.

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:

  • Age (greater than age 45)
  • Overweight
  • Physical inactivity
  • Family background that is American Indian, African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
  • Parent or sibling with diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal cholesterol levels
  • Having had a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds or having had gestational diabetes
  • Pre-diabetes
  • History of polycystic ovary disease (PCOS)

It is important for people at risk for type 2 diabetes to discuss with their doctor or health care provider whether they should be tested for diabetes.