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From Indonesia:

My girl friend's parents have diabetes type 2, both her mother and her father. She is fine right now. She is 19 years old, and I am 24 years old.

Is it possible that my girlfriend will get diabetes like her parents? How much is the probability? Is it a big problem if I get married to my girlfriend? I just want to know! I know that women with diabetes can get a lot of problems, for example if pregnant.


It is a little difficult to predict what your girlfriend's chance of getting diabetes are without knowing more precisely what form of the disorder her parents have. If they had the autoimmune form of diabetes (Type 1) her chance of getting diabetes might be as low as 5% or so and if they both had a form of diabetes that was nutritionally based she might be at no special risk. If both her parents were Type 2 diabetics her chance of getting diabetes at some stage in her life might be as high as 50%, but that might mean not getting diabetes until she was sixty years old or so.

Scientists are every year learning more about the genetic and environmental factors that lead to diabetes in different communities and at the same time the ability to 'control' blood sugars in people who have become diabetic gets better and better and the risks of long term complications including those to a child at birth are, with proper care now very small indeed. In other words I am trying to persuade you that nowadays, if you have access to good medical care, the possibility that your girl friend might get diabetes one day should not be a major component in any decision to get married. Trying to avoid being overweight and taking some form of regular exercise would probably help to diminish the chances further.


Original posting 11 Feb 98


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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