Non-modifiable risk factors:
Age and gender:
The chance of developing diabetes increases with age. Due to other contributing factors the age of onset of diabetes has moved down to younger adults in recent decades, especially in countries where imbalance in diet and physical energy expenditure has emerged. The prevalence of diabetes is slightly higher in men as compared to women; however this trend varies in different communities.
Family history of diabetes:
The risk of developing diabetes considerably increases if one or both of the parents or any of your brother or sister is having diabetes.
South Asians (Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan) are at higher risk of developing diabetes. There could be several contributing factors, but the exact cause is still unknown. The American Indians (Pima Indians) has got the highest prevalence of diabetes, and the people in Scandinavian countries are at lowest in the list.
Previous gestational diabetes:
Diabetes that is diagnosed during pregnancy is called as gastational diabetes. Usually the blood glucose levels becomes normal after the delivery, however, these women have higher chances of developing diabetes later in their life.
Modifiable risk factors:
There are a number of risk factors that can be modified or changed, and by making healthy changes, people can decrease the chances of developing diabetes and improve their quality of life.
Majority of the people who has diabetes are overweight. If your weight is greater than 20% of your optimal body weight than you are at higher risk of developing diabetes, and losing five to ten percent of your body weight can reduce the risk of diabetes up to half. The decrease in risk of diabetes will be even more as you lose more weight.
Physical inactivity:
It has been globally accepted that the top most modifiable risk factor for prediabetes and diabetes is physical inactivity. However, it is also the most cost effective way of preventing the diabetes. By doing 150 minute moderate-intensity exercise or walking in a week can significantly improve your health and reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
Abnormal cholesterol level:
High density lipoprotein (HDL), a type of cholesterol that is usually labeled as good cholesterol, may decrease and this condition along with increase in triglycerides (TG) can increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The decrease in HDL and increase in TG can also lead to heart diseases. A healthy diet and sufficient physical exercise can help to improve the abnormal lipids.
Low birth weight:
Under nutrition of mother during pregnancy can permanently change, i.e. program the organ structure and function in child, and therefore can lead to diseases later in life. The baby is adapted to live in a poor nutritional environment, while supernormal nutrition in later life is followed by adverse health consequences such as type 2 diabetes. Extensive research (http://www.gifts-project.eu ) is going on worldwide to find out the mechanism behind this risk factor.