Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Researchers don't fully understand why some children develop type 2 diabetes and others don't, even if they have similar risk factors. It's clear that certain factors increase the risk, however, including:
- Weight. Being overweight is a primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes in children. The more fatty tissue a child has, the more resistant his or her cells become to insulin. However, weight isn't the only factor in developing type 2 diabetes. Some children with type 2 diabetes are normal weight.
- Inactivity. The less active your child is, the greater his or her risk of type 2 diabetes. Physical activity helps your child control his or her weight, uses glucose as energy, and makes your child's cells more responsive to insulin.
- Family history. The risk of type 2 diabetes significantly increases if a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes — but it's difficult to tell if this is related to lifestyle, genetics or both.
- Race. Although it's unclear why, children of certain races — especially blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Americans, and Pacific Islanders — are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
- Sex. Type 2 diabetes is more common in girls than in boys during childhood.
- Rosenbloom AL, et al. ISPAD clinical practice consensus guidelines 2009 compendium — Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents. Pediatric Diabetes. 2009;10(suppl):17.
- Your guide to diabetes: Type 1 and type 2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/type1and2/. Accessed Jan. 10, 2011.
- Diabetes mellitus. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec12/ch158/ch158b.html#sec12-ch158-ch158b-1105. Accessed Jan. 13, 2011.
- Standards of medical care in diabetes — 2011. Diabetes Care. 2011;34(suppl):1.
- Simms-Robinson C, et al. How does diabetes accelerate Alzheimer disease pathology? Nature Reviews: Neurology. 2010;6:551.
- Laffel L, et al. Management of type 2 diabetes mellitus in children and adolescents. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.htm. Accessed Jan. 19, 2011.
- Ketoacidosis. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/type-1-diabetes/ketoacidosis.jsp. Accessed Jan. 14, 2011.
- Natural Medicines in the Clinical Management of Diabetes. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Dec. 2, 2010.
- Shapiro S, et al. The role of complementary and alternative therapies in pediatric diabetes. Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America. 2009;38:791.
- Copeland K, et al. Management of newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2013;131:364.