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Risk of Type 1 Diabetes in Offspring of Patients Assessed

Risk affected by age of onset in father; this wasn't seen in offspring of mothers with diabetes

TUESDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Among offspring born to parents with late-onset type 1 diabetes, the risk of the disease varies according to the gender of the parent in combination with the age of diabetes onset in the parent, according to research published in the January issue of Diabetes.

Valma Harjutsalo, of the Folkhalsan Research Centre in Helsinki, Finland, and colleagues analyzed data from 9,636 offspring of parents with type 1 diabetes; 413 of the offspring were also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

The researchers found that the cumulative risk by age 20 years for the offspring of parents with adult-onset diabetes was 4.0 percent, and the risk in offspring didn't differ according to the gender of the parent. In the offspring of fathers with diabetes, the risk showed a decreasing trend as the father's age at onset went up; however, in the offspring of mothers with diabetes, the 20-year cumulative risk remained the same regardless of the age at onset.

"In many chronic diseases, age at onset is an indicator of genetic susceptibility. The stronger the genetic component, the earlier the onset of the disease and the greater the risk in the first-degree relatives. The present study supports such an age-related relationship. There are great genetic, autoimmune, and clinical differences between childhood-onset and adult-onset type 1 diabetes. These differences seem to be reflected in the heterogeneity of the transmission pattern of type 1 diabetes according to age at onset," the authors write.

Abstract
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