Are my brothers and sisters and my children at risk of diabetes

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If you have type 1 diabetes, your first-degree relatives (i.e. mother, father, brother, sister, and your children) are about ten times more likely than the general population to get type 1 diabetes. The frequency of type 1 diabetes in the general population is about half a percent (i.e., one in two hundred), so the risk in your first-degree relatives is about 10 X 1/2, or 5%. Fortunately, this is not particularly

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Rate of new cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes among youth aged <20 years, by race/ethnicity, 2002-2003

ALL NHW AA H <10 years

API AI ALL NHW AA H 10-19 years


NHW = Non-Hispanic whites; AA = African Americans; H = Hispanics; API = Asians/Pacific Islanders; AI = American Indians

Figure 2 Difference in frequency of occurrence of diabetes by race and ethnicity.

Source: Courtesy of SEARCH for diabetes in youth study.

high. Also, it is related to age. About 90% of cases of type 1 diabetes occur before age 35. Therefore, the parents of a person with type 1 diabetes are at considerably less, and ever decreasing, risk compared to his or her siblings and children. The risk of getting type 1 diabetes for an identical twin of a person with type 1 diabetes is 30-50%, indicating that environmental factors are very important, even though they are not well understood. In the case of type 2 diabetes, the risk is considerably higher. On average, one out of three of the children of an individual with type 2 diabetes will develop the disease. Two out of three of the children will develop diabetes when both parents have the disease. The risk of getting type 2 diabetes for an identical twin of a person with type 2 diabetes is 75-90%, indicating that genetic (hereditary) factors are very important.

Borderline diabetes

A condition in which plasma glucose falls in between normal and standard accepted definitions for diabetes. "Prediabetes" is another term commonly used for the same condition.


Abstaining from eating food, usually for nine hours or more.

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Diabetes 2

Diabetes 2

Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...

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