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Postgrad Med J 83:348-351 doi:10.1136/pgmj.2006.053744
  • Original article

Familial aggregation and excess maternal transmission of type 2 diabetes in Tunisia

  1. Imen Arfa1,
  2. Abdelmajid Abid2,
  3. Dhafer Malouche3,
  4. Nissaf Ben Alaya4,
  5. Théophile Roland Azegue1,*,
  6. Imen Mannai1,*,
  7. Mohamed Majdi Zorgati1,
  8. Mohamed Chiheb Ben Rayana2,
  9. Slim Ben Ammar1,
  10. Samira Blousa-Chabchoub2,
  11. Habiba Ben Romdhane5,
  12. Béchir Zouari6,
  13. Mohamed Koussay Dellagi7,
  14. Sonia Abdelhak1
  1. 1Molecular Investigation of Genetic Orphan Diseases Research Unit, Institut Pasteur de Tunis. Tunis, Tunisia
  2. 2National Institute of Nutrition, Tunis, Tunisia
  3. 3Engineering School of Statistics and Information Analysis (LEGI-EPT-ESSAIT), University of 7th November at Carthage Tunis, Tunisia
  4. 4Laboratory of Epidemiology. Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia
  5. 5Cardiovascular Diseases Research Laboratory, School University of Medicine, University Tunis El Manar III, Tunis, Tunisia
  6. 6Department of Epidemiology and Statistics, School University of Medicine, University Tunis El Manar III, Tunis, Tunisia
  7. 7Laboratory of Immunopathology, Vaccinology and Molecular Genetics (LIVGM), Institut Pasteur, Tunis, Tunisia
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor Sonia Abdelhak
 Institut Pasteur de Tunis, BP 74, 13 Place Pasteur 1002 Tunis Belvédère, Tunisie; sonia.abdelhak{at}pasteur.rns.tn
  • Received 22 September 2006
  • Accepted 23 January 2007

Abstract

Aim: To evaluate the degree of familial aggregation of type 2 diabetes mellitus in Tunisia and to investigate transmission patterns of the disease and their relationships with patients’ clinical profiles.

Methods: Family history of diabetes and clinical data were collected for 132 unrelated type 2 diabetic Tunisian patients. Diabetes status was recorded for first degree relatives (parents, siblings) and second degree relatives (aunts and uncles from both maternal and paternal sides). Information about family history of diabetes was gathered for a total of 1767 individuals.

Results: Familial aggregation of type 2 diabetes was prominent and more important among first degree relatives than among second degree relatives (p = 0.01). Among studied subjects, 70% reported at least one relative with diabetes and 34% had at least one parent with diabetes. Diabetes was more frequent among mothers than fathers of probands (p = 0.03). This maternal effect extends to second degree relatives as diabetes was more common among maternal than paternal aunts and uncles (p = 0.01). There is no significant difference in clinical and metabolic profiles between patients according to transmission patterns of the disease.

Conclusion: These results suggest familial aggregation and excess maternal transmission of type 2 diabetes in the Tunisian studied population.

Footnotes

  • * Also Engineering School of Statistics and Information Analysis (LEGI-EPT-ESSAIT), University of 7th November at Carthage Tunis, Tunisia

  • Funding: This work was supported by the Tunisian Ministry for Scientific and Technological Research and Development of Competencies.

  • Competing interests: none