Who is at risk of type 2 diabetes?
People who are most at risk of diabetes are those with a combination of risk factors — that is, people with higher-than-normal glucose levels, aged 40 years and older, who have a family history of diabetes, are overweight, have high blood pressure, and known cardiovascular disease or a history of gestational diabetes.
Other people at risk include:
- Aboriginal people, Torres Strait Islander people, Pacific Islander people, people from the Indian subcontinent, and people of Chinese origin aged 35 years or older
- people aged 40 years and older
- people who are obese (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or more)
- people with high blood pressure (hypertension) and known heart and circulation problems (cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack, angina, stroke or peripheral vascular disease)
- people with a close relative (mother, father, sister or brother) who has diabetes
- women with a history of gestational diabetes
- women with polycystic ovary syndrome who are obese.
Anyone aged 40 years or older will usually be screened for type 2 diabetes by their doctor every 3 years. This is to identify anyone who may have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes or who might develop it in the next 5 years.
Your health professional may use the Australian Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool (AUSDRISK) to assess your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This tool is a short list of 10 questions that can be completed with the assistance of a health professional or practice nurse, or by anyone with access to the internet.
- Diabetes Australia; Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Diabetes management in general practice: Guidelines for type 2 diabetes. 17th edn, 2011/2012. (www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/en/For-Health-Professionals/Diabetes-National-Guidelines/#National-Evidence-Based-Guidelines-for-the-Management-of-Type-2-Diabetes)
- Type 2 diabetes: priorities and targets. NPS NEWS (www.nps.org.au/health_professionals/publications/nps_news/current/type_2_diabetes_priorities_targets)
- Yudkin JS, Richter B, Gale EA. Intensified glucose lowering in type 2 diabetes: time for a reappraisal. Diabetologia 2010;53:2079–85.
- Turnbull FM, Abraira C, Anderson RJ, et al. Intensive glucose control and macrovascular outcomes in type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia 2009;52:2288–98.
- Kearney PM, Blackwell L, Collins R, et al. Efficacy of cholesterol-lowering therapy in 18,686 people with diabetes in 14 randomised trials of statins: a meta-analysis. Lancet 2008;371:117–25.
- Law MR, Morris JK, Wald NJ. Use of blood pressure lowering drugs in the prevention of cardiovascular disease: meta-analysis of 147 randomised trials in the context of expectations from prospective epidemiological studies. BMJ 2009;338:b1665.