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What is my risk of developing type 2 diabetes?

Why should you know your risk of developing diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes does not occur suddenly but develops over years – often without being noticed. At present, more than 8.9 million people in Germany are known to have type 2 diabetes. In addition, the number of unreported cases is likely to be in the millions.

In order to utilize sugar (glucose) as an energy source, the body needs insulin. In type 2 diabetes, however, the amount of insulin produced in the body is insufficient or it can't work properly. As a result, the sugar does not enter the body cells and cannot be used for energy production. It remains in the blood and can cause serious consequences in the vessels and on the organs. These include, for example

In addition, individuals with type 2 diabetes die earlier, especially of cardiovascular diseases.

People with so-called prediabetes, the precursor of type 2 diabetes, have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Those at increased risk can often prevent or at least delay the onset of the disease by adjusting their lifestyle.

Use the diabetes risk score to determine your personal risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years and find out what you can do yourself to prevent this development. The DIfE – German Diabetes Risk Score was developed by the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke (Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung, DIfE) and further developed as part of the research of the German Center for Diabetes Research (Deutsches Zentrum für Diabetesforschung, DZD).

The risk score is aimed at people without diabetes. If you have already been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the test cannot be used. This also applies if you already have had or currently have an elevated blood glucose level.

Information on the increased risk of type 2 diabetes in women who have had gestational diabetes can be found here.

What does the result of the test mean?

The test shows how you can personally help to prevent type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle plays an important role: the risk of type 2 diabetes can be significantly reduced by eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise, giving up smoking and, if necessary, losing weight.

You can find more information on what you can do to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes here.


Please note that even people at low risk can develop type 2 diabetes whereas those at high risk may remain healthy. Avoiding or reducing risk factors are thus no guarantee that the disease will not develop.

Good to know:

Another testing tool to determine the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is the FINDRISC Diabetes Risk Calculator which was developed in Finland. The risk score is available in 9 languages.

Click here to access the FINDRISC Diabetes Risk Calculator (Link in German).

How is your personal risk estimated?

The risk estimation is based on correlations observed in the Brandenburg Nutrition and Cancer Study (EPIC-Potsdam Study). The study, in which 27,548 adult men and women participate, was launched in 1994. It is part of the largest prospective European nutrition study to date (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition - EPIC) with 23 centers in 10 European countries. The study investigates the relations between nutrition and cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other chronic diseases.

The questions in the DIfE – German Diabetes Risk Score correspond to factors that contribute in varying degrees to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Each factor has a certain value, which is multiplied with the value you have entered for this factor. The sum of these calculations makes it possible to estimate your risk of developing type 2 diabetes within the next 10 years.

The methods for calculating the 10-year risk for diabetes, a heart attack, and stroke were tested for validity in the EPIC-Heidelberg study with 25,543 participants and, for diabetes risk, additionally in the German-representative German National Health Interview and Examination Survey 1998 cohort with 3,959 participants. The development, validation and extension of the DIfE – German Diabetes Risk Score and the DIfE – Cardiovascular Disease Risk Score have been published in renowned scientific journals such as Diabetes Care, Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, Deutsches Ärzteblatt international and Scientific Reports.


Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung: Deutscher Diabetes-Risiko-Test. (Letzter Abruf: 07.05.2024)
Lindström, J. et al.: The diabetes risk score: a practical tool to predict type 2 diabetes risk. In: Diabetes Care, 2003, 26: 725-731
Mühlenbruch, K. et al.: Update of the German Diabetes Risk Score and external validation in the German MONICA/KORA study. In: Diabetes Res Clin Pract, 2014, 104: 459-466
Paprott, R. et al.: Validation of the German Diabetes Risk Score among the general adult population: findings from the German Health Interview and Examination Surveys. In: BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care, 2016, 4: e000280
Schiborn, C. et al.: German Diabetes Risk Score for the Determination of the Individual Type 2 Diabetes Risk. In: Dtsch Arztebl Int, 2022, 119: 651-657
Schulze, M. B. et al.: An Accurate Risk Score Based on Anthropometric, Dietary, and Lifestyle Factors to Predict the Development of Type 2 Diabetes. In: Diabetes Care, 2007, 30: 510-515
Schuppenies, A. et al.: FINDRISK: Finde das Risiko! Entwicklung eines Fragebogens zur Einschätzung des Diabetesrisikos. In: Ernährungs-Umschau, 2006, 53: 386-389
As of: 07.05.2024