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Type 1 Diabetes: Causes & Risk Factors

There are several risk factors that 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 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 the HLA-DR3 or HLA-DR4 genes (human leukocyte antigen). In the United States, 40% of the population has one or more of these 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.
Next - Symptoms 

Type 1 Basics
Causes & Risk Factors
Healthcare Team


Diabetes Treatment Options
Mastering Insulin, Making Real Change
Tests to Monitor Your Care: Type 1

What's Your Diabetes IQ?
Diabetes and Eating Disorders:
  The Dangers of Diabulimia

What's Your Type?

6 Easy Ways to Make Your Life Better

Questions for Your Doctor
How to Ask Your Family for Support
Insulin Syringe Safety for Diabetics


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