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From Toronto, Ontario, Canada:

I have read the statistics you have provided in response to other questions regarding the hereditary nature of diabetes. I understand that the chance of a child becoming diabetic if the father is Type 1 is between 3 and 10%. What would be the difference in the percentages related to the following two issues:

  • The length of time the father has been diabetic? (In this case, he is 22 and has had Type 1 for 13 years.)
  • A history of Type 1 late-onset diabetes in the mother's family? (Both her grandmother and great uncle developed late-onset Type 1 diabetes.)

Would these factors significantly increase the chances of a child becoming diabetic, or does the percentile remain relatively the same?


This question was referred to several pediatric endocrinologists, who have each given an answer:

Answer from Dr. Robertson:

Not strictly an answer to the question but the following may be pertinent. The offspring of a diabetic father have a slightly higher risk than those of a diabetic mother. I am not aware of any influence of the age of the parents or other relatives or of their duration of diabetes. However, there is a marked reduction in the risk of developing IDDM above the age of 40 even in those who are found to be ICA positive.

The lifetime risk for siblings of a diabetic is 6.6 +/- 1.1%, for children 4.8 +/- 1.7%.


Answer from Dr. Stuart Brink:

The duration of IDDM in father is only important in that there are many years of discordance - but I do not know actual statistics to answer the question posed. I think the best stats that I have seen suggest father to child inheritance of IDDM around 5-6% compared to mother to child around 2-3%. The older relatives are so far removed that I do not think that they play a great part statistically except to increase the percentages just a tad.


Original posting 4 Jan 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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