Are Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes Genetic?


Do several members of your family have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes? If your answer is yes, you may be concerned that your kids may also get diabetes.

While the genetics and cause of diabetes in Cary, NC and across the world are not completely understood, we do know that some people are born more likely to inherit the disease. Genetics certainly play some role, as you can inherit a predisposition to diabetes, but exposure to certain things in the environment, such as a virus, can trigger the disease.

Type 1

Type 1 diabetes is more common for those with Caucasian descent, but a child would need both parents to pass down this gene to inherit diabetes. If both parents developed diabetes before age 11, the chance of your child having diabetes is 1 in 4, while if it developed post age 11, the risk is 1 in 10.

Type 2

Type 2 diabetes is more strongly tied to genetics than Type 1. Lifestyle habits can often cause diabetes, and families tend to have similar habits, such as diet and exercise, but there is still a genetic predisposition.


In addition, you are more at risk of having Type 2 diabetes if you align with the following factors:

  • Overweight or obese

  • Maintain a sedentary lifestyle

  • African-American, American Indian or Hispanic/Latino

  • Female

  • Have a family history of diabetes

  • Insulin resistant

Diabetes & Genetics: Are My Kids at Risk?

If you and/or your spouse or partner have a family history of diabetes and you would like to learn more about children and diabetes, schedule an appointment at Western Wake Pediatrics by contacting us at (919) 859-9991. Our pediatricians would be glad to provide a diabetes test in Cary, or talk to you about diabetes in children.

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