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9 Surprising Things That Increase Diabetes Risk

Diabetes is not just about weight.

When thinking about diabetes, many people attribute the disease to obesity. But more than 29 million people in the U.S.—almost 10% of the population—have diabetes, and not all of them are overweight. This mistaken idea about the cause of diabetes may lead many people into a false sense of security, because there are more risk factors than just weight. In fact, about 25% of people with diabetes (regardless of their weight) don’t know they have it. Be aware of these lesser-known factors to take charge of your own diabetes risk.

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Medically Reviewed By: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS | Last Review Date:

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Medical References

  1. Risk factors. Diseases and Conditions: Diabetes. Mayo Clinic. 
  2. Smoking and Diabetes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
  3. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease. A Report of the Surgeon General. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  http://www.cdcgov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/2010/pdfs/key-findings.pdf
  4. Preventing Diabetes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
  5. Hallundbæk Mikkelsen, Kristian; Filip Krag Knop, Morten Frost, Jesper Hallas, and
  6. Anton Pottegård. Use of Antibiotics and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Population-Based Case-Control Study. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. October 2015, 100(10):3633–3640. 
  7. Pesticide Exposure Tied to Diabetes Risk. University of Utah Health Care. 
  8. Diabetes Latest. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
  9. Diagnosing Diabetes and Learning About Prediabetes. American Diabetes Association. 
  10. R.S. Lindsay, D. Dabelea, J. Roumain, R.L. Hanson, P.H. Bennett and W.C. Knowler. Type 2 diabetes and low birth weight: the role of paternal inheritance in the association of low birth weight and diabetes. Diabetes. March 2000 vol. 49 no. 3 445-449. 
  11. Gestational Diabetes. American Diabetes Association.
  12. Age, Race, Gender & Family History. American Diabetes Association. 
  13. Statistics about Diabetes. American Diabetes Association. 
  14. “What is Gestational Diabetes?” American Diabetes Association. 
  15. “Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).” Mayo Clinic. 
  16. “Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).” American Diabetes Association. 
  17. “Chronic Illness & Mental Health.” National Institutes of Mental Health.

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