Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From the state of Washington, USA:

I am a 35 year old insulin dependent diabetic. I got it at an early age. My dad's mom had it and he got it at age 21. My wife is having a baby in several months. Is there a test that can be run to find our if my baby carries the genes or cells that can cause diabetes?


Nowadays the answer to your questions would depend, to some extent, on knowing exactly what kind of insulin dependant diabetes was in your family. Assuming though that it is the commonest form in North America which is Type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes, there are several ideas to consider. In the first place the overall lifetime risk of the baby developing this form of diabetes is quite low, that is, around 5-7%. You might though discuss with your wife's obstetrician the possibility of amniocentesis for the purpose of HLA typing. This might give you some idea as to whether the baby would be genetically predisposed to diabetes or indeed might be very unlikely to develop the condition.

However being genetically susceptible does not predict the likelihood of environmental triggers for clinical diabetes. My guess is the obstetrician would rather strongly discourage any attempt at antenatal HLA typing.

You might however want to consider enrolling child later in a research study such as the DPT-1 which is designed to test the value of very small doses of insulin in preventing clinical diabetes in children with an affected first degree relative and a positive antibody test. The number to call to learn more about the DPT-1 is 1-800-425-8361.


Original posting 9 Sep 1999
Posted to Genetics and Heredity


  Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Return to the Top of This Page

Last Updated: (none)
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2018. Comments and Feedback.