What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is caused by the body not producing enough insulin, or the insulin is there but it is not working properly. Hence, the blood glucose level is high.

What are the risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes?

Researchers do not fully understand why some people develop type 2 diabetes and others do not. However, it is important to take note of some of the risk factors:

  1. Weight

    The more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your body is to the action of insulin.

  2. ​Inactivity

    The less active you are, the greater your risk of developing diabetes. Physical activity helps you to control your weight, uses up sugar as energy and make your cells much more sensitive to the insulin. Hence, it is important to have a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.​​​​​​​​​

  3. Family history

    Your risk increases if a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.

  4. High blood pressure

    High blood pressure of greater than 140/90 millilitres mercury (mmHg) is recognised as a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.

  5. Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels

    If you have low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is higher. Triglyceride is another type of fat carried in the blood. People with high triglyceride level are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You can discuss with your doctor about checking your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

  6. ​Gestational diabetes

    Your risk of developing diabetes is greater if you have had gestational diabetes. You are also at risk of developing diabetes if you have given birth to a baby weighing more than 4 kg.

  7. ​Polycystic ovary syndrome

    This is a condition associated with irregular menstrual periods, excessive hair growth and being overweight.​

See previous page to learn how diabetes is diagnosed.​​​​


Ref: O17