Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From Montreal, Canada:

I am 21 years old and have had type 1 diabetes for a year. My boyfriend is 26 and has had type 1 diabetes for 13 years. We are afraid for our children. What are the chances that they would acquire the genes and the chance that they express them, meaning the chances that they have type 1 diabetes? What's proven and what's not? I have done lots of research and couldn't find a satisfactory answer. They say it's less than 20% (or even 9 to 15 %), but what's less? They also say that the genetic factor is not so important despite that there was a study done on identical twins that shows it is.


The risk for an individual male to have child with type 1 diabetes is in the neighborhood of 3-6%; the risk for a female to have child with type 1 diabetes is in the neighborhood of 2-4%. The risk for both mother and father with type 1 diabetes (your situation) having child with type 1 diabetes is therefore in the neighborhood of 5-15%. This really means that genetic factors are important and having two such genetic factors in both parent is geometrically increased. But, this also means that other, presumably environmental, factors also are important and we do not really understand what these are. There are many theories, including the viral theories, but nothing definitive. If such odds seem too high for the two of you, then you should consider adoption as a good alternative; if it is important to have your own genetic offspring, then one must weigh these risk factors accordingly. Going to see a genetic counselor who can provide the latest research statistics and also provide appropriate counseling should also be considered. Speaking with your own diabetes team may also be very helpful.


Original posting 17 Nov 2004
Posted to Genetics and Heredity


  Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Return to the Top of This Page

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:00
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2018. Comments and Feedback.