Who is at risk for diabetes?

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Type 1 diabetes
 

Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune response in which the immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas causing the body to produce very little or no insulin. The causes of this process are not fully understood but are thought to be a combination of genetics and environmental triggers, such as a viral infection, that initiate the autoimmune reaction. The condition can develop at any age, although the onset of type 1 diabetes occurs most frequently during childhood and young adulthood.

 

Type 2 diabetes
 

Although the exact causes of type 2 diabetes are not completely understood, there are several risk factors:

  • excess body weight
  • physical inactivity
  • aging
  • prediabetes
  • ethnicity
  • family history of diabetes
  • history of gestational diabetes

The incidence and prevalence of people with type 2 diabetes is growing rapidly worldwide. In 2021, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimated that type 2 diabetes accounted for over 90% of all diabetes worldwide. This is in part related to aging populations, economic development and increasing urbanization, which can lead to less healthy eating and decreased physical activity.

 
Source:
 

IDF Diabetes Atlas, 10th edn. Brussels, Belgium: 2021. Last accessed online December 22, 2021.

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