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.