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AIMS: Maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY) is a monogenic form of diabetes where correct diagnosis alters treatment, prognosis and genetic counselling. The first UK survey of childhood MODY identified 20 White, but no Asian children with MODY. We hypothesized that MODY causes diabetes in UK Asians, but is underdiagnosed. METHODS: Children with dominant family histories of diabetes were recruited. Direct sequencing for mutations in the two most common MODY genes; HNF1A (TCF1) and GCK was performed in autoantibody-negative probands. We also compared MODY testing data for Asian and White cases from the Exeter MODY database, to 2001 UK census data. RESULTS: We recruited 30 families and identified three Asian families with MODY gene mutations (two HNF1A, one GCK) and three White UK families (two HNF1A, one GCK). Heterozygous MODY phenotypes were similar in Asians and Whites. Only eight (0.5%) of 1369 UK referrals for MODY testing were known to be Asian, but in 2001 Asians represented 4% of the English/Welsh population and have a higher prevalence of diabetes. CONCLUSIONS: We identified three cases of childhood MODY in UK Asians and demonstrated reduced rates of MODY testing in Asians, which has negative implications for treatment. It is unclear why this is. MODY should be considered in autoantibody-negative Asian diabetes patients lacking evidence of insulin resistance.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabet Med

Publication Date





1257 - 1260


Adolescent, Asian Continental Ancestry Group, Child, Child, Preschool, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Female, Glucokinase, Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-alpha, Humans, Male, Mutation, Pedigree, Polymorphism, Genetic