Risk Factors for Diabetes
A “risk factor” is defined as anything that increases your risk—your chances—of developing a particular disorder such as diabetes. It can be important to remember that risk factors are not necessarily causal, but they are correlated. In other words, the incidence of Type 1 diabetes increases by geography—the further from the equator that you live, the greater the risk that you will have T1D. However, living in, for example, Canada, far north of the equator does not cause T1D. There is also a difference between known and possible risk factors. The known factors are backed by a large amount of evidence and a great deal of certainty in the medical and scientific communities. The possible risk factors lack the same amount of evidence and certainty, but are expected to have this in the near future, after long-term studies have been completed or after the evidence is examined and a consensus among experts is reached. Also, in possible risk factors, other influences—including known and other possible risk factors—may be involved, making the determination of the risk factor more difficult.
Risk Factors for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)
There are some known risk factors for T1D. These include:
A family history of T1D. This increases the risk because T1D has a connection to a number of genes that can be “handed down” from one generation to the next.
Genetic background. As mentioned, there are a number of genes that have been described to increase the risk of T1D. T1D is said to have a “polygenic risk” because there is not one single genetic mutation or change that ca Continue reading