Am I at risk?

People all over the world get diabetes. The numbers vary from place to place and among ethnic groups. The risk of getting diabetes depends on who you are, how you live and where you live.

Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, but it most often strikes younger people (under 20 years of age) who are of slim build, and especially children at the beginning of puberty.

Type 2 diabetes most often affects overweight individuals over 45 years old who have a low level of physical activity.

This suggests that both inherited characteristics and environmental factors play a role in the development of diabetes.

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has increased over the last 50 years and is continuing to rise.

It is estimated by the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) that by 2025, there will be over 300 million people with diabetes worldwide.

Is diabetes hereditary?

Children born to parents with diabetes have an increased risk of developing diabetes.

The risk is approximately 5% if one parent has type 1 diabetes, and higher (approximately 11% to 13%) if one parent has type 2 diabetes.

Environmental factors

A number of different environmental factors may play a role in the development of diabetes. Infections and immune system activity are among the factors thought to be involved.

Increased life expectancy in some countries is also an important reason why the number of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is increasing worldwide.