Health & Diet Tips

Diabetes: Who is at Risk?
Information about the main diabetes risk factors. The more risk factors that apply to you, the greater your chances of developing diabetes.


Diabetes often runs in the family. If a close family member has diabetes, then you are 50 per cent more likely to develop it yourself. The closer the family member (for example a parent or sibling), the greater the risk.


Overweight and obese people are much more likely to develop diabetes. In fact, over 80 per cent of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are overweight. The more overweight you are, the greater the risk. As a general rule, women should have a waist measurement of less than 31.5 inches, and men less than 37 inches. Anything over is considered overweight.


Physical inactivity is a significant risk factor. The less active you are, the greater your chances of developing diabetes.

High blood pressure

If you have high blood pressure or have had a stroke or heart attack (both linked to high blood pressure), or have circulatory problems, you are more likely to develop diabetes. Many people with diabetes also have high blood pressure, and the combination can be fatal. In fact, studies have shown that controlling blood pressure in Type 2 diabetes cuts your risk of dangerous complications by 24 per cent, and reduces diabetes-related deaths like heart attacks and strokes by 32 per cent. Diabetics with normal blood pressure also have a substantially longer life expectancy.

Your age

Over-40s are most at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, although it can occur in children. Maturity onset diabetes sets in before the age of 25.


A substantial body of evidence has revealed that African-Caribbean or South Asian people living in the UK are more than five times more likely to have diabetes than the white population.

Mental health problems

People with severe clinical depression and other extreme mental health problems seem to be more likely to develop diabetes.

Gestational diabetes

Women who experience diabetes during pregnancy are significantly more likely to develop diabetes in later life.


Several studies have shown that smoking significantly increases your risk of developing diabetes, by prompting a pre-diabetic condition called insulin resistance.

This means that larger amounts of insulin are needed to digest the same amount of glucose, increasing your chances of developing both diabetes and a build-up of fatty substances, cholesterol, and other substances in the walls of the arteries, a risk factor for heart disease. Smoking has long been associated with heart disease, another diabetes risk factor.

Read More

Diabetes - Who is at Risk? Find out the main risk factors.

The Symptoms of Diabetes: Find out what the symptoms of diabetes really are with our quick at-a-glance guide.

Understanding Diabetes: There are currently over 2 million diabetic people in the UK, and up to another 750,000 who have the condition and don’t know it yet. Find out more about this disease.

Tips to Prevent Diabetes: Some forms of diabetes cannot be prevented, however, follow these tips to help minimise the risk of developing the disease.

Sex & Diabetes: Men with diabetes face many difficulties, but few problems are more frustrating than erectile dysfunction, especially for younger men.

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From Lydia
I never knew that smoking was associated with diabetes. This article has just highlighted many areas of my life which could increase my risk of diabetes.

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