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July 16, 2005

Genetics and Heredity

Question from Connecticut, USA:

A man, age 31, has had type 1 for 23 years and his wife, 30, has had type 1 for 28 years. How likely is it that their offspring would have type 1? The woman is in excellent health and both have great A1cs. They are seeking a doctor to handle “genetic engineering” to “remove” the afflicted genetic materials. They believe that similar engineering has taken place for other afflictions, but no doctor will discuss it.


From: DTeam Staff

There are excellent diabetologists in Connecticut, so, keep searching., There is no known way to remove “bad genetic material” as you propose. It is possible THEORETICALLY, but there is no way to know how to do it. We simply do not know where such genes really reside or how to go about doing this clinically. Perhaps this will be possible in the future.

The risks for two type 1 diabetes parents having a child with diabetes are obviously higher than if only one parent has type 1 diabetes. The current estimate of the risk would be about 10%, about 2 to 4% for a child of a mother with type 1 diabetes, about 3 to 6% for child of a father with type 1 diabetes. Exactly why this difference exists is also not well known. I might suggest that you consider a consultation with not only a diabetologist or obstetrician who works with diabetes but perhaps also a geneticist who can help to answer such questions.