How To Assess The Risk Factors For Developing Diabetes

How To Assess The Risk Factors For Developing Diabetes

Anne Peters, MD, FACP, CDE (Professor and Director of Clinical Diabetes Programs, USC Keck School of Medicine) gives expert video advice on: What are risk factors for developing diabetes?

What are risk factors for developing diabetes?

There are many risk factors for developing diabetes. First is age, so as people their risk for type 2 diabetes goes up and so being older than 45 years is considered a risk factor for diabetes. Being overweight is a very strong risk factor for diabetes particularly weight in the center. So people who gain weight in their center are those who are at highest risk. Having a family member with diabetes puts you at increased risk. There are certain ethnic groups such as native americans, african americans, latino americans, pacific islanders and asian individuals who are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. People with high blood pressure are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes. People who have abnormal cholestorol levels are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Women who've had a big baby, meaning a baby that weighs more than 9lbs are at increased risk for having diabetes. Also, for women who've had gestational diabetes. Having polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is a syndrome people have infrequent or irregular menstrual cycles and developing facial hair and other findings are also associated with and increased risk for diabetes. So there's a whole list. Many things that many people have that put them at higher risk for getting type 2 diabetes. But, I would say the two most common findings that I see again and again are people who have a family history of diabetes and people who are gaining weight in there center. Now, in addition to a family history of diabetes, a family history of heart disease also puts you at much higher risk because before you actually get problems related to blood sugar levels, you may have problems related to high blood pressure and abnormal cholestorol. So, often people will have a heart attack first and then get their diabetes later. So I actually look at alot of heart disease as somewhere on the spectrum of getting diabetes.