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November 26, 2000

Genetics and Heredity

Question from :

I am a 21 year old who wants to get married but am worried because my partner has type 2 diabetes. I am concerned about my child getting it. Is that possible and what are the statistics?

Answer:

The risk of developing type 2 diabetes depends on the incidence patterns of background normal population. This is strongly influenced by genetic basis as well as genetic admixtures. For type 2, one out of 9 Americans will develop it, and almost all develop it in middle age. Liberal consumption of calories and a sedentary rather than vigorous level of activity, sometimes called a Westernized lifestyle, is considered an important reason why type 2 is so common in the US. In the US, blacks, Mexican Americans and Native Americans have higher incidences than Caucasians. Type 2 is less common in these populations if they live in places non-Westernized lifestyles. The risk for a child born to a type 2 diabetic father is around double the general population’s risk.

MS