Who Is at Risk of Having Prediabetes?


Quick Answer

Risk factors for prediabetes include being overweight, having a large waist size, leading a sedentary lifestyle, sleeping poorly and family history. People over 45 have an elevated risk, as do people who developed gestational diabetes while they were pregnant, as stated by Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

One of the most important risk factors for prediabetes is excess weight. As people develop more fatty tissue between the muscle and skin girding the abdomen, they also develop more resistance to insulin. Men with a waist larger than 40 inches in circumference and women with a waist larger than 35 inches have elevated risk of diabetes. Because physical activity burns glucose and increases cellular sensitivity to insulin, those who do not get enough have a higher risk of prediabetes as well, notes Mayo Clinic.

Some factors that do not involve lifestyle choices include age, family history and race. People over 45 have an increased risk of prediabetes, because people lose muscle mass, do not exercise as often and put on weight at this point in life. If a sibling or parent has type 2 diabetes, a person's risk goes up as well. Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, American Indians, Hispanics and African-Americans are also more likely to develop prediabetes, although the cause is unknown, according to Mayo Clinic.

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