Family data for 2,645 probands from a Canadian Register have been genetically analyzed.

Study of 173 children from matings in which the diabetic is married to a diabetic, and of 13,009 first degree relatives of diabetics, suggests that the hereditary basis for diabetes is multifactorial.

There was a marked excess of diabetics among first degree relatives of probands whose age of onset was less than twenty years, over that among relatives of probands with late age of onset. This finding suggests an accumulation of “high risk” factors in families in which the proband had early age of onset. The compatability of multifactorial inheritance with recent physiological and biochemical findings is discussed.

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