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April 16, 2002

Genetics and Heredity

Question from Sylvester, Georgia, USA:

My 46 year old husband was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about four weeks ago, and his mother also has it. What are the chances our 19 year old son will develop this disease?


If both parents have type 2 diabetes, the child has about a 40 percent chance of getting it. See Diabetes Genes.

Additional comments from Lois Schmidt Finney, diabetes dietitian:

Your son is at a greater risk of developing diabetes himself just having the relatives, but if he is overweight, his risk goes up substantially, so if this is the case, please work with him to change his lifestyle.