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The transmission disequilibrium test with use of trios (an affected proband with both parents) is a robust method for assessing the role of gene variants in disease that avoids the problem of population stratification that may confound conventional case/control studies and allows the detection of parent-of-origin effects. Trios have played a major role in defining genes in a number of polygenic conditions, including type 1 diabetes. We assessed the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and suitability for defining type 2 susceptibility genes of European type 2 diabetes trios. In a Caucasian population in the U.K., only 2.5% of type 2 patients had both parents alive. Using a nationwide strategy, we collected 182 trios defined by strict clinical criteria. Immunological and genetic testing resulted in the exclusion of 25 trios as a result of latent autoimmune diabetes (n = 13), inconsistent family relationships (n = 7), and maternally inherited diabetes and deafness (n = 5). The 157 remaining probands had similar treatment requirements to familial type 2 diabetic subjects but presented at a younger age, were more obese, and more frequently had affected parents. Using this resource, we have not found any evidence for linkage disequilibrium between type 2 diabetes and the glucokinase gene markers GCK1 and GCK2 and the chromosome 20 marker D20S197. We conclude that European type 2 diabetes trios are difficult to collect but provide an important additional approach to dissecting the genetics of type 2 diabetes.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





2475 - 2479


Adult, Autoantibodies, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Europe, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Genes, Dominant, Genes, Recessive, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Glutamate Decarboxylase, Humans, Linkage Disequilibrium, Male, Microsatellite Repeats, Middle Aged, Nuclear Family, Prevalence, Risk, United Kingdom