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Risk Factors for Type 1 Diabetes

A risk factor is something that raises the chances of getting a health problem. A person can get type 1 diabetes with or without the ones listed below. The chances of getting it are higher in people who have many. Things that can raise the risk are:


Type 1 diabetes is more likely to start when a person is a child or young adult. It can also happen any age.

Ethnic Background

This health problem is more likely in people who are:
  • Northern European
  • African
  • Hispanic
  • Native American

Family History

People who have a parent, brother, or sister with type 1 are more likely to get it.

Islet Cell Autoantibodies

Islet autoantibodies are proteins made by the immune system. They have been linked to type 1 diabetes. People with them are at higher risk.


American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes-2019. Diabetes Care. 2019. Jan; 42 (Suppl 1):S1-193.
Diabetes mellitus type 1. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated June 28, 2019. Accessed November 22, 2019.
Type 1 diabetes. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: Accessed November 22, 2019.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2019
  • Update Date: 12/12/2019
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