From Florida, USA:
We have two diabetic sons, ages 16 and 12. They were diagnosed 8 years ago, three weeks apart. Is this unusual? Should we keep a watch on our 14 year old daughter?
The diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes in your two sons so close together in time is certainly unusual; but I also think that it was a random happening. However you should do more than "watch" your 14 year old daughter. There is now a large trial (DPT-1) under way in the U.S. to try to predict Type 1 Diabetes in the first degree relatives of those that have the disorder. For those who show two or more antibodies in their serum, the study offers a number of prospects of preventing or averting insulin dependance.
You should discuss this with your daughter's doctor. I think you also need to talk this over with your daughter. Not everyone wants to know whether they are likely to get Type 1 Diabetes in the future although in your family it might be a relief to be assured that this is unlikely. Also if she were to join one of the studies there is still a 50% chance of being a "control," which would mean good care, but no special therapy.
Original posting 8 Jun 97
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