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From Wallingford, Connecticut, USA:

I have had diabetes for almost 14 years and feel silly asking this but, is diabetes genetic? I have read in some places that it is and other that it is the environment. If you could answer that question for me when you get a chance it would be great!


Type 1 diabetes is partially genetic in that it is almost always those with susceptible genotypes that get it. However the majority of such individuals at risk never develop diabetes. Like most diseases, diabetes is one that you are born with a risk of but you need a second 'hit' from the environment before the process develops. We don't yet know what the environmental factors are but viruses probably figure pretty prominently.


Original posting 18 Mar 1999
Posted to Genetics and Heredity


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