Type 1 Diabetes: Causes & Risk Factors
Several risk factors increase your odds of getting type 1 diabetes. It's important to keep in mind that these risk factors often work in combination.
Common risk factors for type 1 diabetes include:
- Family history. You are slightly more likely to develop type 1 diabetes if one or both of your parents or any of your grandparents has or had the disease. Also, risk increases if both your parents carry specific genes associated with type 1 diabetes. In the United States, 40% of the population has one or more of these specific genes.
- Race. Caucasians have the highest rate of the disease.
- Environmental factors. In people who have a family history of type 1 diabetes, it's possible that viruses may trigger the disease.
- Diet. Type 1 diabetes is more common in those who were not fed breast milk or who started eating solid foods at an exceptionally early age.