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The family histories of 976 South Indian Type 2 diabetic patients were recorded in a questionnaire-based survey to establish whether the excess maternal transmission of Type 2 diabetes reported in low prevalence Europid populations was also evident in this medium prevalence population. In 450 families (46.1%), no parental history of diabetes was reported. In 423 families with one parent diabetic, 222 fathers (52.5%) and 201 (47.5%) mothers were diabetic. In the remaining 103 (10.6%) families, both parents were diabetic. In contrast to previous studies, we found no evidence for substantial maternal excess in the transmission of diabetes (325 diabetic fathers vs 304 mothers; p = 0.4; p = 0.07 when compared using life table methods). The age of diagnosis of diabetes in probands was lower than that of their diabetic parents (p < 0.001): furthermore increasing parental history of diabetes was associated with an earlier diagnosis of diabetes in probands (p < 0.001). These results emphasize the extensive familial aggregation of Type 2 diabetes in this population but fail to replicate the evidence for excess maternal transmission evident in lower prevalence Europid populations, suggesting ethnic differences in the extent of this phenomenon.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabet Med

Publication Date





232 - 237


Adult, Age of Onset, Aged, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Fathers, Female, Genomic Imprinting, Humans, India, Life Tables, Male, Middle Aged, Mothers, Nuclear Family, Pedigree