Type 1 Diabetes Risk Factors

Genes, ethnicity, and geography may all play a role

Written by Daphne E. Smith-Marsh PharmD, CDE
Reviewed by W. Patrick Zeller MD

There are several risk factors that may make it more likely that you’ll develop type 1 diabetes—if you have the genetic marker that makes you susceptible to diabetes. That genetic marker is located on chromosome 6, and it’s an HLA (human leukocyte antigen) complex. Several HLA complexes have been connected to type 1 diabetes, and if you have one or more of those, you may develop type 1. (However, having the necessary HLA complex is not a guarantee that you will develop diabetes; in fact, less than 10% of people with the “right” complex(es) actually develop type 1.)

Other risk factors for type 1 diabetes include:


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