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Risk Factors

Diabetes isn't contagious. You can't catch it from someone who has it. Anyone can develop diabetes, but certain risk factors make it more likely that you'll develop it.

You are at an increased risk for diabetes if you:

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  • are overweight
  • are age 45 or older
  • have a parent, brother or sister who has diabetes
  • are African-American, Native American, Hispanic or Latino, Asian-American, or a Pacific Islander
  • gave birth to one or more babies who weighed more than 9 pounds or have had gestational diabetes in the past
  • have high blood pressure, that is a reading of 140/90mm Hg or higher
  • have an HDL level, known as the good cholesterol, of 35 mg/dL or lower
  • have a triglyceride level of 250 mg/dL or higher
  • have been told that your blood glucose was higher than normal
  • are not in the habit of exercising regularly
  • have polycystic ovary syndrome  

Written by award-winning health writer Bobbie Hasselbring

Reviewed by Beth Seltzer, MD

Last updated June 2008

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