Risk factors of diabetes mellitus and gestational diabetes2020


In this article we will look at various risk factors leading us to diabetes mellitus.

RISK FACTOR-Things which increases the risk of getting diabetes mellitus.


Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition which means that our immune system attacks our own body.

 In case of type 1 diabetes the immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells of islets in the pancreas which are responsible for production of insulin hormone, result is there is no insulin production.

 Although the exact cause of this condition is not known but it is associated with certain risk factors such as:

  1. Increase risk of getting diabetes if there is positive family history, that is if parents or siblings of an individual has type 1 diabetes.
  2. Presence of diabetes autoantibodies(bodies immunity providing cells start attacking bodies own cells) increases the chance of developing type 1 diabetes.
  3. Certain countries, such as Finland and Sweden, have higher rates of type 1 diabetes.
  4. Some viral diseases that occur in children can trigger autoantibodies in children and may lead to type 1 diabetes.so its better to get children checked by doctor everytime they get fever,cold or cough.


Type 2 diabetes occurs or is detected after the age of 35,it is most common form of diabetes that we all know of.lets see some risk factors that may lead us to diabetes.

1. Obesity or Overweight individual:

  • Overweight or obese individuals are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
  • Obesity causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • The site of body fat also makes a difference. Fat deposits in and around belly especially in males(commonly known as lovehandles or belly fat is very difficult to get rid of and is prime reason for insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes.

To see if your weight puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes, check out these Body Mass Index (BMI) charts

2. Individuals having Sedentary lifestyle

  • People working in office cubicles or people whose jobs are in desks or infront of computers who do not have lot of physical acivity are at risk of type2 diabetes.
  • Physical activity helps in controlling the weight and reducing fat tissue, and also helps to use up glucose as energy  and increases the sensitivity of cells to insulin.

3. Positive family history

Risk of type 2 diabetes increases if a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes. As diabetes is genetic disorder and is acquired through genes also.

4. Age 45 and above

As the age increases the cells become insulin resistant, This may be because of decreased exercise, loss of muscle mass and weight gain as the age progresses.

5. Gestational diabetes

If you developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant, your risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes later increases. Or if you gave birth to a baby weighing more than (4 kilograms), risk of type 2 diabetes increases.

6. Polycystic ovary syndrome.

For women, having polycystic ovary syndrome — a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and obesity — increases the risk of diabetes.as there is insulin resistance in theses patients.

7. High blood pressure over 140/90 mm of mercury (mm Hg) is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes

8. Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol level lower than 40 mg/dL or 50 mg/dL and high triglyceride levels have increase risk of type 2 diabetes.Increased levels of LDL also is a risk factor for diabetes

9. Race:

African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander

10.Presence of acanthosis nigricans—dark, thick, and velvety skin around your neck or armpits which occurs due to insulin resistance


Risk factors for gestational diabetes


Gestational diabetes can develop in any pregnant female, but if she has risk factors for diabetes than she is at a greater risk of developing gestational diabetes.

These risk factors include:

  1. Age: first pregnancy at an age more than 35years.
  2. Positive family history for gestational diabetes or giving birth to large babies more than 4kg weight in family on maternal side is a risk factor for the pregnant female.
  3. If the female has prediabetes.
  4. Had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy, or had delivered a very large baby(more than 4kg wt) or had an unexplained stillbirth(baby born dead).
  5. Obese or over weight female.
  6. Race: women who are black, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian are more likely to develop gestational diabetes.


Genetic mutations


family history of diabetes
  • It is caused by mutations, or changes, in a single gene. These changes are usually passed through families, but sometimes the gene mutation happens on its own.
  • Type 1 and type2 diabetes is caused by gene mutation in multiple genes whereas MODY is caused by single gene mutation,mostly in autosomal dominant gene.
  • Most of these gene mutations cause diabetes by affecting the pancreas and pancreas are not able to produce insulin according to body needs.
  • There are many other single gene mutations causing different types of diabetes of which MODY is a type.
  • Neonatal diabetes occurs in the first 6 months of life. Doctors usually diagnose MODY during adolescence or early adulthood, but sometimes the disease is not diagnosed until later in life.

Treatment for MODY?

No definite treatment for MODY or other single gene mutation leading to diabetes is found yet.

But MODY can be managed and patients with MODY can lead normal lives with proper care and precautions.

            Cystic fibrosis -it is a condition in which body secretions become thick and may lead to scarring of the pancreas. This scarring can prevent the pancreas from making enough insulin or may cause problem in proper functioning and release of insulin.

  • Hemochromatosis -In this condition body stores excess amount of iron and the patient is usually having unusually dark skin due to iron deposits in skin.

Iron gets deposited in various body tissues and when it is deposited in pancreas,it causes inflammation and scarring of pancreas leading to decreased insulin production and release.

Hormonal diseases as risk factors of diabetes mellitus

Body produces too much of certain hormones in this diseases, which sometimes cause insulin resistance and diabetes.ex.

  • Acromegaly occurs when the body produces too much growth hormone.
  • Cushing’s syndrome occurs when the body produces too much cortisol—often called the “stress hormone.”
  • Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone.

Damage to pancreas.

Alcohol leading to pancreatitis


  • Alcohol consumption is a prime factor in causing pancreatitis along with gall bladder stones.
  • Pancreatitis is inflammation of pancreas,so when this inflammation resolves it may lead to to scarring thus hampering normal pancreas function and may lead to diabetes.

Surgical procedures-

Certain procedures around pancreas may lead to impaired function of pancreas as pancreas are very sensitive organ and there can be complications post surgery.

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