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


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.

  • BMI, body mass index, T2D, type 2 diabetes mellitus
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