What is the probability of a IDDM male, diagnosed at the age of ten, having diabetic children in his middle to late twenties? Is there any way to determine if Type 1 is caused by heredity or environmental factors? In this particular case, this man had chicken pox and measles before diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes (so an environmental cause seems plausible). Can amniocentesis or other prenatal screening tests show predispositions to Type 1?
In all cases of Type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes both genetic and environmental factors are involved; but the history of chickenpox and measles is almost certainly irrelevant. The chances of a father with Type 1 having children with the same problem are a little over 6% for a Caucasian in North America. Amniocentesis could confirm susceptibility but the small risk would not be justified as the information could be obtained on cord blood.
Original posting 29 Mar 2000
Posted to Genetics and Heredity
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