AN analysis has been made of the family histories of a survey of 1280 cases of IDDM entering Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh between December 31, 1964 and January 1, 1981, discharged on insulin and initial age of onset under 17 yr. Family histories revealed an increased occurrence of IDDM among relatives in the affected families. The risk to siblings was estimated by age-corrected proband exclusion (3.3%) by age 20 and by the Li-Mantel segregation ratio estimator (6.0%). The comparison of these risk measures is discussed. The occurrence of IDDM among the parents is 2.6% and of NIDDM among the parents is 2.4%. A comparison of risk to relatives (parents, sibs, uncles, half-sibs) observed in the Pittsburgh Study to those of six other studies reveal essentially equivalent rates. There is no increased risk to siblings of a diabetic who had an early age of onset. There is an increased risk to siblings of a diabetic (10.5%) in families where at least one parent has insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and also an increased risk to siblings of a diabetic (8.8%) when at least one parent has non-insulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM). The average age of onset for second cases in a family is significantly older than age of onset in single case families.

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