May 5, 2006, Newsletter Issue #52: Risk Factors for Developing Diabetes

Tip of the Week

Many people know someone who has diabetes. If it is a family-member, you are at increased risk for this genetically-influenced disease. But genetics is not the only factor that puts someone at risk for developing diabetes.

Obesity is a significant factor. Excess body fat impacts glucose metabolism, and can result in ketoacidosis if the body uses the fat as fuel.

Sedentary lifestyle contributes to the development of diabetes, as exercise regulates your metabolism of food fuels, including sugar.

Age is also a factor, with it being more common in after the age of 60.

High cholesterol and blood pressure -- risk factors of heart disease -- are also risk factors for diabetes.

Ethnicity also plays a role in the development of diabetes. If you are an Alaska Native, American Indian, African American, Hispanic/Latino American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander, you are at increased risk -- this plays into genetics.

There are also gender-specific risks, such as having gestational diabetes.

Talk to your doctor to see if you are at risk, and what steps you can take to decrease the chance that you will develop diabetes.

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