What are the major risk factors for type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM)?

Updated: Jul 13, 2021
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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The major risk factors for type 2 diabetes mellitus are the following:

  • Age greater than 45 years (though, as noted above, type 2 diabetes mellitus is occurring with increasing frequency in young individuals)

  • Weight greater than 120% of desirable body weight

  • Family history of type 2 diabetes in a first-degree relative (eg, parent or sibling)

  • Hispanic, Native American, African American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander descent

  • History of previous impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG)

  • Hypertension (>140/90 mm Hg) or dyslipidemia (HDL cholesterol level < 40 mg/dL or triglyceride level >150 mg/dL)

  • History of gestational diabetes mellitus or of delivering a baby with a birth weight of over 9 lb

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (which results in insulin resistance)

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