The frequency distributions of HLA antigens in 25 juvenile-onset diabetics (JOD) and 56 maturity-onset diabetics (MOD) belonging to a southern African black tribe (Xhosa) were compared with those of 153 non-diabetic Xhosa blacks. Unlike the findings in white JODs, there was no increase of B8 or B15 nor a reduced frequency of B7 but an apparently, significantly increased frequency of Bw35 and A2 in both Xhosa JODs and Xhosa MODs, respectively.

This is the first ethnic group in which an HLA antigen marker has been found for MOD. Furthermore, these findings suggest that diabetes, both JOD and MOD, in white people is a different genetic disease from the diabetes among the Xhosa tribe.

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