Diabetes Risk Factors

Diabetes is a silent disease. You can have it for years and not know it. During this time, harm to your eyes, nerves, kidneys and heart can happen.

Your risk for diabetes goes up as you get older, gain weight, or if you do not stay active. Diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. Risk factors include having high blood pressure, having a family history of diabetes, and having diabetes during pregnancy or having a baby weighing more than nine pounds at birth.

Some of the most common risk factors for pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes include:

  • Age 45 years or older
  • Race or ethnic background
  • Being overweight (especially around the waist)
  • Low physical activity levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history of diabetes
  • History of diabetes during pregnancy

Additionally, while there may be no symptoms of diabetes at all, some symptoms that may be present are:

  • Urinating often
  • Being very thirsty
  • Being very hungry
  • Being more tired than usual
  • Being irritable
  • Losing weight
  • Blurry vision

Most people with diabetes do not notice any symptoms; however, if you have any of these symptoms, contact your health provider right away.

Problems Related to Diabetes

Diabetes can lead to other serious health problems such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney problems
  • Foot problems (poor circulation, ulcers, and amputation)
  • Nerve damage (tingling, pain, numbness, or weakness in your feet and hands)
  • Eye problems and blindness

To assess if you are at risk for diabetes, please take a quick quiz by the American Diabetes Association by clicking here.


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