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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Is there an excess in maternal transmission of NIDDM?

Family studies have demonstrated that there is a strong genetic component to the aetiology of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), although the mode of inheritance is unknown. A number of recent family history studies, including one in Mexican Americans, have suggested that there is an excess of maternal transmission of NIDDM. Family history studies are subject to various types of bias, however, and the potential for bias in many of these studies has not been thoroughly evaluated. We therefore tested the hypothesis that diabetes is more likely to be transmitted from mothers than from fathers using data collected from a large family study of low-income Mexican Americans in San Antonio, Texas. The parents and offspring from 318 different nuclear families attended our medical clinic, where they received a 2-h oral glucose test. Diabetes was diagnosed on the basis of World Health Organization criteria. The sibships were classified into diabetic sibships (at least one sibling in the sibship was diabetic; n = 54) and non-diabetic siblings (no diabetic siblings; n = 264). The prevalence of diabetes among mothers of diabetic siblings was 61.4% (27 of 44) compared to 64.3% (18 of 28) among fathers of diabetic siblings (rate ratio = 0.95; 95% confidence interval; 0.51-1.84). For the non-diabetic sibships, the prevalence of diabetes was 31.7% (78 of 246) and 28.9% (37 of 128) among mothers and fathers, respectively (rate ratio = 1.09; 95% confidence interval: 0.73-1.67). These data provide no evidence for an excess maternal transmission of diabetes in Mexican Americans.[1]


  1. Is there an excess in maternal transmission of NIDDM? Mitchell, B.D., Kammerer, C.M., Reinhart, L.J., Stern, M.P., MacCluer, J.W. Diabetologia (1995) [Pubmed]
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