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From Hamilton, Ohio, USA:

I am a 36 year old woman who has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent) for eight years. I have a 16 month old daughter. I was insulin dependent during the pregnancy. When should I have my doctor start testing my daughter for diabetes?


To answer your question I need to explain that Type 2 Diabetes is increasingly being defined as a series of genetically quite separate subgroups. So in order to predict your daughters vulnerability it would necessary, first of all, to know exactly what kind of non-insulin-dependant diabetes you have. This is still a cumbersome and expensive process and it isn't very often pursued because the treatment is very much the same whatever subtype you belong to. Even if this were to be done we don't yet have risk tables for every group. Also, unlike Type 1 diabetes, we have no means beyond the simple ones of taking plenty of exercise and maintaining ideal weight for preventing Type 2 diabetes.

In short, I do not see any need to ask your doctor to screen your daughter for urine glucose or an elevated fasting blood sugar at regular intervals unless it is for your own reassurance.

Some older persons are now recognized as having Type 1 diabetes; but in your case this is very improbable because you are not on insulin, this in turn means that your daughter's chance of getting Type 1 diabetes is no more than the population as a whole, i.e., approximately 12 per 100,000 per year up to age 18 in the US as a whole. In this instance too, I see no need to screen.


Original posting 4 Dec 97


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