Frequently Asked Questions

8. Who is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes?

Here are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

  • being over 45 years of age
  • being overweight or obese
  • having a first-degree relative -- a parent, brother, or sister -- with diabetes
  • being African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American or Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino. (Watch the video to learn more about native Americans and diabetes risk. To enlarge the video, click the brackets in the lower right-hand corner. To reduce the video, press the Escape (Esc) button on your keyboard.)
  • having gestational diabetes, or giving birth to at least one baby weighing more than 9 pounds
  • having blood pressure of 140/90 or higher, or having been told that you have high blood pressure.
  • having abnormal cholesterol levels -- an HDL cholesterol level of 35 or lower, or a triglyceride level of 250 or higher
  • being inactive or exercising fewer than three times a week.
  • having polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS (women only)
  • on previous testing, having prediabetes (an A1C level of 5.7 to 6.4 percent), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG)
  • history of cardiovascular disease (disease affecting the heart and blood vessels).