Risk factors for diabetes depend on the Type of diabetes.

Risk factors for Type 1 diabetes

Although the exact cause of Type 1 diabetes is unknown, factors that may signal an increased risk include:

Family history.Your risk increases if a parent or sibling has Type 1 diabetes.

Environmental factors. Circumstances such as exposure to a viral illness likely play some role in Type 1 diabetes.

The presence of damaging immune system cells (autoantibodies). Sometimes family members of people with Type 1 diabetes are tested for the presence of diabetes autoantibodies.

If you have these autoantibodies, you have an increased risk of developing Type 1 diabetes. But not everyone who has these autoantibodies develops diabetes.

Dietary factors. These include low vitamin D consumption, early exposure to cow’s milk or cow’s milk formula, and exposure to cereals before 4 months of age. None of these factors has been shown to directly cause Type 1 diabetes.

Geography. Certain countries, such as Finland and Sweden, have higher rates of Type 1 diabetes.