Genetics

The exact nature of how diabetes or at least the risk of diabetes is transmitted is still not well understood. It is known that those with HLA DR3 and DR4 (human lymphocytic antigens that are cell surface markers) have a fourfold increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes. If a person has both antigens, the risk increases to 12 times normal. There is a very strong familial transmission, with concordance of type 2 in 90% of identical twins older than 40, compared with 50% in type 1 diabetes. Certain genetic types (e.g., MODY) may have different responses to medications than other types.

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