A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition. It is possible to develop ]]>type 1 diabetes]]> with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing type 1 diabetes. The main risk factors include the following:

Family History

If you have a parent, brother, or sister with type 1 diabetes, you (or your child) are at greater risk of having it, too. Scientists continue to believe that genetic factors play a role in the development of type 1 diabetes.

Autoimmune Conditions

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, caused by the body's immune system attacking the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. You may be at a greater risk of developing type 1 diabetes if you have another condition that affects the immune system, such as:

Ethnic Background

You are at an increased risk of type 1 diabetes if your ethnicity is:

  • Northern European
  • Mediterranean
  • African American
  • Hispanic

Presence of Islet Cell Antibodies

Through lab tests, your doctor can determine if you have islet cell antibodies. These are a type of antibodies that destroy the insulin producing part of the pancreas. Having these antibodies may increase your chance of developing type 1 diabetes.

Other Risk Factors

Other factors that may increase your child's risk of type 1 diabetes include:

  • Bottle-feeding or short duration of breastfeeding
  • High birth weight
  • Mothers age at childbirth (over 35 years)