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: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/diabetes-mellitus-type-1-34. Updated June 28, 2019. Accessed November 22, 2019.
Type 1 diabetes. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/type-1. Accessed November 22, 2019.
Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD
Last Updated: 12/8/2020

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at healthlibrarysupport@ebsco.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.