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 risk factors and/or viral 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 for the development of type 2 diabetes are still unknown, there are several important risk factors:
- excess body weight
- physical inactivity
- advancing age
- poor nutrition
- family history of diabetes
- history of gestational diabetes (diabetes that developed during pregnancy).
The number of people with type 2 diabetes is growing rapidly worldwide. This rise is associated with aging populations, economic development, increasing urbanization, less healthy diets and reduced physical activity.*
*IDF Diabetes Atlas (7th Ed.) (2015). Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation.