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Risk Factors for Prediabetes

The risk factors for prediabetes are similar to those for type 2 diabetes. Most people who get type 2 diabetes had prediabetes first. Risk factors include:

  • Being overweight.
  • Lack of physical activity.
  • Family history. If you have a parent, brother, or sister who has type 2 diabetes, you have a greater chance of getting the disease.
  • Age. The risk for getting prediabetes and type 2 diabetes increases with age. But the number of children with type 2 diabetes is increasing. Usually, children who get type 2 diabetes have a family history of the disease, are overweight, and aren't physically active.
  • Race and ethnicity. African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders are at higher risk than whites for type 2 diabetes.
  • History ofgestational diabetes. Women who have had gestational diabetes or who have had a baby that weighed more than 9 lb (4 kg) at birth are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • Low birth weight. People who weighed less than 5.5 lb (2.5 kg) at birth are more likely to get type 2 diabetes later in life.

Other health problems that put you at risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes include:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a problem in which a woman's hormones are out of balance.
  • Metabolic syndrome. This is a group of health problems that includes having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and too much fat around the waist.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Last Revised June 20, 2012

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