Risk factors for Diabetes

It is essential to know the risk factors for developing diabetes so that the disease can be either prevented, or identified early to avoid complications.

Risk factors for Diabetes

  • Family history: first degree (a parent or sibling)
  • Increasing age, especially over 40 years of age
  • If you are originally from Asia, North Africa or the Caribbean .
  • Hypertension
  • Lack of or inadequate physical activity
  • A rich diet
  • Increased cholesterol
  • History of cardiovascular disease, such as angina, myocardial infarction, or a stroke
  • Smoking - 44% of smokers are at risk of developing Type II Diabetes, according to a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association, JAMA, in December 2007.
  • if you are overweight and have a BMI over 30
  • Waist circumference: greater than 100 cm in men, and over 88 cm in non-pregnant women
  • Excess alcohol - the recommended amount is 21 units per week for men and 14 units for women
  • Diabetes during pregnancy or birth of a child whose birth weight was greater than 4 kg

Discrete signs of Type II Diabetes

  • Tendency to skin infections (abscesses, boils)
  • Wounds which are difficult to heal
  • Other repeated infections such as cystitis, urinary tract infection, or fungal infections
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Fatigue or shortness of breath
  • Dry mouth, or need to urinate frequently

Signs of Type I Diabetes

These events can occur suddenly :
  • Thirst
  • Need to urinate frequently
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Sudden changes in vision
  • Loss of consciousness


Your GP may offer you screening for diabetes by assessing your risk factors.
If you are concerned, please feel free to discuss checking your fasting glucose with your GP.
Ask a question
CCM is a leading international tech website. Our content is written in collaboration with IT experts, under the direction of Jean-François Pillou, founder of CCM.net. CCM reaches more than 50 million unique visitors per month and is available in 11 languages.


This document, titled « Risk factors for Diabetes », is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM Health (health.ccm.net).