Risk Factors for Diabetes
All people are vulnerable to the disease throughout their lives. However, the risk is higher as you grow older. There is a gradual increase in susceptibility, with slight peaks at puberty and during pregnancy, until we reach the age of 40. Then there is a rapid jump.
If you have a family history of diabetes, especially parents or siblings with diabetes, then you're near the top of the list in terms of risk. Heredity is the most important predisposing factor for diabetes, especially for type-I diabetes.
Type- II diabetes also tends to run in families, but since 80 to 85 percent of all cases occur among people who are over 40 and overweight, obesity is considered more important in the development of this form of the disease.
80 to 85 percent of people with type-II diabetes are overweight. It is true that not all overweight people have diabetes. But if you are obese, you may be setting yourself up for this disease 10 or 20 years from now. (You are considered obese, if you are more than 20 percent over ideal body weight.)
In the United States the disease is more common among African-Americans, Hispanics and American Indians.
More than 40% of Pima Indians in the United States have type 2 diabetes. However, that race alone does not predict diabetes; it must be combined with another factor, such as obesity.
Researchers have uncovered a link between poverty and diabetes. In a survey in the USA, households with the lowest income-under $15,000- was found to have the highest incidence of diabetes.
|Having impaired glucose tolerance|
|Having high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels (240 mg/dl or more)|
|In women, having a history of gestational diabetes or delivery of babies weighing more than 9 pounds|
The presence of one risk factor does not predict diabetes, but it does suggest a possibility. The more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing diabetes.
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