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Age
The onset of type 2 diabetes typically occurs after the age of 40. Aging itself may increase the risk for glucose intolerance and diabetes.

Low Birth Weight
Low birth weight is risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Malnutrition in the pregnant women may be responsible for causing metabolic abnormalities in the developing fetus that eventually lead to diabetes.

Obesity
Rate of obesity is very high in type 2 diabetics. Excess body fat appears to play a strong role in insulin resistance, but the way its distributed is also important. Weight concentrated around the abdomen is associated with insulin resistance diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and unhealthy cholesterol levels. Fat that settles in a “Pear–shape” around the hips and flank appears to have a lower association with these conditions.

Family History
Between 25% to 33% of all patients have a family history of the disease, and people with first degree relatives have a 40% lifetime risk for diabetes.

Ethnicity
The risk for diabetes type 2 is higher in certain ethnic groups e.g. the Pima tribe in Arizona USA.