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Type 2 diabetes risk factors you can control (and those you can’t)

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Type 2 diabetes risk factors you can control (and those you can’t)

Your chances of developing type 2 diabetes depend on a combination of risk factors – some that you can control and others you can’t.1 Type 2 diabetes risk  factors that are outside of your control include, but may not be limited to:

  • Your age (risk goes up if you’re 45 years old or older)1
  • Your racial or ethnic background (risk goes up if you are Black, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander)1
  • Your family history (risk goes up if you have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes)1

If you have one or some of the above risk factors, don’t feel defeated. There are other type 2 diabetes risk factors you do have power over, including:

  • Your weight (risk goes down if you are at a healthy weight and BMI)1
  • Your activity levels (risk goes down if you get enough physical activity)1
  • Your blood pressure (risk goes down if you keep your blood pressure at a healthy level)1
  • Your cholesterol levels (risk goes down if you maintain healthy cholesterol and lipid levels)1

Ready to start taking steps to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes? Visit the American Diabetes Association’s prevention resources.


1 Diabetes Risk. American Diabetes Association. https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-risk. Accessed December 18, 2019.

2 Fruit. American Diabetes Association. https://www.diabetes.org/nutrition/healthy-food-choices-made-easy/fruit. Accessed November 26, 2019.

2 Diabetes Symptoms. American Diabetes Association. https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/type-2/symptoms. Accessed November 26, 2019.