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October 24, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Los Angeles, California, USA:

My husband has had type 1 diabetes for 10 years. and our biggest fear is that our 10 month old son would get it too. Recently he had a low white count on a routine blood test. Is there any connection between low white cell count and diabetes? Is this an indication that he will get it?

Answer:

Since his father has type�1 diabetes, your small son has only a little over a 5% chance of developing it before he is 20 years old. A low white blood cell count is not an indicator of this form of diabetes although in older people with established diabetes (like your husband), there have been reports of a relative diminution of the lymphocyte group of WBCs.

DOB