Could you be at risk?

asian couple sat indoors 

Some things that increase your risk of diabetes you can’t change. These are known as ‘non-modifiable’ risk factors and include:

  • ethnicity – African-Caribbean or South Asian people from India, Pakistan or Bangladesh, living in the UK, are at least fives times more likely to have diabetes than the white population
  • having type 2 diabetes in your family – the closer the relative, say a parent, brother or sister, the greater the risk
  • age – your risk increases with age
  • having diabetes while you are pregnant

But others, known as ‘modifiable risk factors’ you can do something about and so lower your risk. These include:

  • being overweight – around 80% people diagnosed with diabetes are overweight
  • having an ‘apple-shaped’ physique - this means having excess weight around your waist.

As a guide:

  • for women, the risk increases if your waist is 31.5 inches (80cm) or more 
  • for men the risk increases if your waist is 37 inches (94cm)
  • for men of South Asian or African-Caribbean origin it increases if your waist is 35 inches (90cm).
  • having heart or circulatory problems – you increase your risk if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol or have had a heart attack or stroke.

Can you reduce your risk?

If any of these risk factors apply to you – particularly your ethnicity or family history of diabetes - you should make an appointment with your GP to discuss your overall risk and if necessary have a diabetes test.

Once you know the outcome, you and your GP can discuss and agree an action plan.


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Staying Active and Independent

Keeping mobile is the key to an independent life. This leaflet offers advice on staying fit and active, and looks at sources of help if you do have problems getting around.

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