Who is at risk for diabetes?

Coffee Cup on Table

Type 1 diabetes

The number of people who develop type 1 diabetes is increasing. The reasons for this are still unclear but may be due to changes in environmental triggers such as toxins and infections. The disease can affect people of any age, but it usually starts in children or young adults.


Type 2 diabetes

Although the exact causes of type 2 diabetes are still unclear, there are several important risk factors:

  • excess body weight
  • physical inactivity
  • aging
  • prediabetes
  • poor nutrition, including high intake of sugar‐sweetened drinks
  • ethnicity
  • family history of diabetes
  • history of gestational diabetes

The number of people with type 2 diabetes is growing rapidly worldwide. This rise is in part related to aging populations, economic development and increasing urbanization which can lead to less healthy eating and decreased physical activity.


IDF Diabetes Atlas (8th Ed.) (2017). International Diabetes Federation: Brussels, Belgium. Online version accessed Sept 17, 2019

Related articles

Sugar monitor
What are the complications of diabetes?
Glucose monitor
Gestational Diabetes
How is diabetes treated?