By Deborah Mitchell for EmaxHealth.com
It seems every few weeks there is another study suggesting a new risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Because type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions and has such a significant impact on overall health, it seems like a good time to look at some of the new potential risk factors for the disease and review those that have been established.
Established risk factors for diabetes
It is possible for people to have several or even all of the following established risk factors for type 2 diabetes and never develop the disease. However, your chances of getting diabetes increases as the number of risk factors that apply to you rises.
Age: People older than 45 years old are at greater risk of getting the disease, although type 2 diabetes is being diagnosed at an increasing rate among younger people, and the next risk factor is one of the most significant reasons this is true.Overweight/obesity: Excess body weight, especially around the midsection, increases risk. A body mass index of 25 or higher is considered overweight.
Family history of diabetes: A parent, brother or sister with diabetes can increase your chance of developing the disease.
High blood pressure: 140/90 mmHg or higher
High triglyceride levels: Levels more than 250 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) increase your risk.
Gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy
Giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
Impaired glucose tolerance: Blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as having diabetes. People with an impaired fasting glucose between 100 and 125 mg/dL have impaired glucose tolerance.
Low HDL cholesterol: A “good” cholesterol level less than 35 mg/dL raises your risk.
Sedentary lifestyle: Physical exercise less than three times a week can increase risk
Metabolic syndrome: This is a combination of factors shown to increase the risk of diabetes, and this list does include individual risk factors for diabetes. The components of metabolic syndrome include a large waistline, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high fasting blood sugar levels.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome: Women who suffer with polycystic ovarian syndrome produce an excess amount of androgens
Acanthosis nigricans: A condition characterized by thickened, dark skin around the armpits or neck.
Ethnicity: African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans have a higher risk for diabetes than do Caucasians.