August 23, 2000
Genetics and Heredity
Question from Canada:
My son is four years old, and was diagnosed with diabetes at age two. An acquaintance came up at a party and stated to all those listening that diabetes is more common in boys. Is this true?
Type 2 diabetes is in fact more common in women. I could find no figures for population gender differences in Type IA autoimmune diabetes in children except that fathers with diabetes are slightly more likely to transmit this condition to their offspring than mothers and that there is a link between gender of the parent and that of the child there may ‘some’ truth in the party announcement.
Another possible factor that may reinforce this impression is that mothers, who usually bear the burden of chronic illness in a child, are more likely to call attention to problems in their sons than in their daughters.