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Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes represents more than 90% of all diabetes cases.1 In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas may make enough insulin, but the body cannot effectively use the insulin it creates. This is known as insulin resistance. Eventually, the pancreas may stop producing insulin altogether.


Type 2 diabetes traditionally affects people later in life, but can affect people at any age.


Additional risk factors or characteristics for type 2 diabetes include


  • Family history of diabetes
  • History of gestational diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Race/Ethnicity such as African American, Mexican American, Pacific Islander or Native American background though little research has been conducted outside of the United States regarding predisposition based on race or ethnicity.3

Because type 2 diabetes develops slowly and is often hard to detect, many people are not diagnosed until various complications appear. One-third of all people with diabetes may be undiagnosed.2


Depending on its severity, type 2 diabetes can be managed through diet and physical activity alone, oral medications, or insulin injections, though a combination of these therapies are ideal for most cases. Self-monitoring of your blood sugar can help measure the success of your therapy.

1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National diabetes fact sheet, 2007. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/pdf/ndfs_2007.pdf. Accessed October 16, 2008.


2American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes—2008 [position statement]. Diabetes Care. 2007; 31:S12-S54. Available at:http://care.diabetesjournals.org/lookup/content/full/31/Supplement_1/S12 (accessed January 24, 2008).


3International Diabetes Federation. Who gets diabetes? Available at: http://www.idf.org/home/index.cfm?unode=3B96880C-C026-2FD3-87046988B851BC00. Accessed November 12, 2008.


4Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National diabetes fact sheet, 2007. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/pdf/ndfs_2007.pdf. Accessed October 16, 2008.

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