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From Cairo, Egypt:

I have had type 1 diabetes for 16 years. My boyfriend's dad has type 2, diagnosed three years ago. His father is against us getting married because he's scared that our children will get diabetes. What are the chances that our children might get either kind of diabetes? Are there any tests that we can take that might indicate the percentage of inheritance?


The tests available are mostly research tests, so they are not very helpful. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are generally felt to be two separate disorders with a common link only that they involve the pancreas and insulin production. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease while type 2 is mostly related to aging, obesity and insulin resistance. There is one theory called the Accelerator Hypothesis that proposes that they may merge, however, this remains just an interesting theory. So, the real answer to your question is that there is not very much more risk for children under the family circumstances that you describe and we would generally say the risk is the same as without the type 2 diabetes in the family tree, or about 2 to 5% and mostly related to the genetic risks of type 1 diabetes in first degree relatives. For most people, this is insufficient reason to stop a planned marriage or to not have children, but this should remain an individual decision.


Original posting 7 Nov 2007
Posted to Genetics and Heredity


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:14
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